Wednesday, 30 December 2009


I've just arrived home from a white Christmas up north and so I'm hoping to catch up on some blogging over the next few days.

At the album release party for their debut "Up From Below" at LA's Roosevelt Hotel in July, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros raised money for the Gulu Widows Group of Uganda. The women used the band's donation to start a farm to sustain their community. They recently had their first harvest; to celebrate and show the band their appreciation they made this video in which they sing the band's song "Home."

"Home" in Gulu from The Voice Project on Vimeo.

MP3: Home - Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros

I hope that someone gets my...

I've really enjoying all the retro stuff that 6music are playing in the run up to the New Year. They have had whole days dedicated to the end of the last four decades (1969, 1979, 1989 and 1999). Don't know much about 1969 (I wasn't born) but the two days covering 1979 and 1989 have brought back some great memories of what must be two of the most classic years ever in music. By contrast, however, 1999 was crap. Go on, I dare you to suggest anything exciting that came out of 1999...

Anyway, the day on 1979 reminded me that it is now 30 years since I bought my first 7" single. I remember going down to Rotherham town centre on the 140 bus (2p for the trip) and walking up to The Sound of Music to buy my copy of The Police's 'Message in a Bottle'. I was 8 years old then, and really at the mercy of Radio Hallam (the local radio station) for my musical taste - probably why my next purchase a week later was 'Video Killed the Radio Star' by The Buggles. Still, The Police track was a fairly decent start, and it was followed by lots more classics from 1979 - if Jal lets me, I may do a Top10 playlist like I did for 1989.

Anyway, here's a hot-link to The Police's Message in a Bottle to keep you going until Jal's next post.

Happy New Year!

MP3: The Police - Message in a Bottle

Monday, 28 December 2009

Cold War Kids + The Futureheads Free Tracks

Record Label, sorry RCDLBL are giving away new tracks from The Futureheads and Cold War Kids. The Futureheads come back with a track that starts off sounding like Kaiser Chiefs (sorry to tell you this Schonberg) and by the end Struck Dumb is sounding like Super Furry Animals, download it off RCDLBL's web site or stream it here (in theory, I've not tried this before so hopefully it will work):

Cold War Kids are not topping the bands I look out for but a band that have produced some decent stuff in the past. Give it a listen and see what you think. Again you can download it from RCDLBL's web site.

Monday, 21 December 2009

We Have Band Free Track

When I posted We Have Band's track 'Oh!' earlier this year I thought it would be similar to a lot of the tracks I post, a decent amount of downloads but clearly missed by half the people who visit the site. However, I miss judged We Have Band, they're more popular than I realised. Oh! is one of the most downloaded tracks and thankfully it was one they were giving away, if memory serves me, to promote their appearance at SxSW. They are now giving away another track, will you all take to it like the last one? Only time will tell...

MP3: Honey Trap - We Have Band

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Christmas - Home Alone

Singing in to a hair brush, stood in front of a mirror in just a towel is probably not how you want to be remembered by millions of people but when you hear this track you can't help but think of Macaulay Culkin, sorry Kevin MacAllister, as he relaxes in the knowledge he has made his family disappear.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Christmas - Barenaked Ladies

Barenaked Ladies' take on Christmas and 'the holidays' is pretty hit and miss. I wasn't expecting much when Pia, my Canadian blind date (don't worry wife if you're reading this it was purely a music fling briefly last Christmas) sent me my Christmas CD that was peppered with Barenaked Ladies tracks. However God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen stood out straight away. While they may be a band that don't take themselves seriously they did for this track and it works so well - OK maybe there was a small bit of tongue in cheek. Anyway enjoy God Rest Ye... and the other end of the scale with Carol of the Bells.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Christmas - Scrooged

Scrooged has got to be up there with the best Christmas films and the opening music sets the scene perfectly, a Christmas feel with a hint of terror, well mild peril. No surprises then that the music features on an album called Music For A Darkened Theatre Vol 1...

Monday, 14 December 2009

Christmas - Glasvegas

As it's Schonberg's birthday I thought I'd post a track by one of his favourite bands. This was a track given away by the BBC last year and was one of the most downloaded tracks off this web site in 2008. So for those of you who haven't got it enjoy Glasvegas' version of East 17's 'classic' Stay Another Day.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Christmas - Elf

As Elf hits our screens today I thought I'd post the main theme from it. I got hold of this after my Elf post last year so I've not posted it before. Don't worry after some Christmas themed posts I'll return to the debate that's been raging on Facebook, Album of the Decade!

Friday, 11 December 2009

3WTM's MySpace Find of the Year

Myspace has the ability to frustrate and amaze you. Clicking on a Myspace link can take you to average land as someone just playing around with music posts their tracks online. Yet, what you always hope for is to be led to something new, an artist, a track that will brighten up your day.

When I came across this band I thought they were good, after a few listens I thought about writing about them. Not many more listens later and I couldn't get their tracks out of my head. So What Wrong With The Mainstream's Myspace find of the year is Yes Cassette.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

3WTM's Freebie of the Year

Have I gone on about this track enough? I don't think so. It's got so many elements to it, one second a great bit of bass and then next second I think I hear a bit of Suede. A track like this is just the reason I got in to writing this blog, a song that without reading blogs I wouldn't have discovered and that, because of the way the music industry works, is not being played in the mainstream. My aim has always been to share tracks I like that aren't getting the attention they deserve. Sit up and take notice, this should be in your collection.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Important Interuption

Before another post for our end of year awards I thought I'd better point out that The Courteeners are back with a new track and their new album 'Falcon' is out in February. Speaking on Zane Lowe's show on Radio 1 Liam said it was the fastest song he's every written, saying he'd written it on the piano in 5 minutes when taking a break from the band.

It's an unexpected sound and definitely a change of direction. Zane was quick to point out that while it was a more mature sound it wasn't necessarily a reflection of the new album as a whole. A friend of mine described the first album of The Courteeners rock 'n' roll by numbers, as most rock stars probably can't count it's probably no surprise that the well educated Fray is the only one able to complete all the numbers. I also remember similar comments being made about Oasis at their peak yet no one was able to replicate their success.

As an early Christmas present the band have made the song available for free and if you go on their web site you can get tickets for their gigs ahead of the crowds and an exclusive pre-order offer for the album

MP3: Cross My Heart and Hope to Fly - The Courteeners

You can try to get it from their web site but I have been slapped on the wrist for offering a free download of a free download. Think of that what you may...

Sunday, 6 December 2009

3WTM's EP of the Year

As always with the blog, I comment on music as it comes to my attention, it doesn't matter whether it was recorded 5 minutes ago or 5 years ago, if I'm playing it now then I talk about it. What's Wrong With The Mainstream's EP of the Year only came to my attention this year but I believe it was released last year. Who cares.

We get quite a lot of EPs sent to the 3WTM inbox and there certainly has been competition for this accolade. However, this EP has three tracks that are so good that if they were on a ten track album you'd pick these as the singles. I believe The Twang's earlier EP had Wide Awake and Either Way on, I just hope this EP can lead on to the same success as The Twang's did.

You, dear regular reader, are totally aware of this band as we have mentioned Kalenko on here many times BUT I've saved the best for this post. 12 (Twelve) is the track that got me in to them and originally all I had to post was a cover of the track, now I have the original version. Enjoy and get in touch with Kalenko and get hold of their EP, there is still one track off it I haven't posted.

Friday, 4 December 2009

3WTM's Album of the Year

Deciding on the album of the year has been a difficult one this year, some years an album just takes it by a country mile. This year it's not been so simple, no one album has stuck out that much for me. There have been a lot of notable albums from already established artists such as Doves, Muse, Kasabian, Reverend & The Makers, The Maccabees, Jarvis Cocker and returning The Prodigy. Add to that debuts from Ed Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros , La Roux, Florence and the Machine and The Airborne Toxic Event. It gave me a whole heap of albums to look at. Before you say anything I was disappointed with Green Day and Arctic Monkey's latest albums, I hope you are enjoying them more than me, that's all I can say.

Anyway on to the album of the year, in fact for me this band pick up two awards, album of the year and live band of the year. The second title being an unfair contest as I have been to very few gigs this year and that tips it in their balance. If you haven't guessed yet the winner is White Lies, early promise was matched with a cracking album, one that had a consistent theme throughout yet the songs were varied. Seeing them live just impressed on me even more what good artists they are, from the lead singers voice to the sound they created. Not always easy in the not-so-good O2 Academy in Bristol. To celebrate them winning I thought I'd post the cover they played at the gig, Heaven, originally by Talking Heads. This recording is from their gig in Berlin this year, thanks to Just Music That I Like for the track, Jessica you're a star.

If you don't own White Lies album you know what you need to do...

Monday, 30 November 2009

What's Wrong With The Mainstream November '09 Playist

Ah the last playlist of the year as December always gets devoted to best lists and Christmas tunes. This months playlist really came together in the final days as people start to post their end of year lists early. We've also got tracks from Sheffield Music Scene's birthday compilation give away, if you've not checked out this magazine you really should. As far as I can work out it's a not for profit online publication that is put together by music fans giving up their time to do the reviews and design work for free.

Anyway back to this months playlist. First up we've got Kalenko's latest release, recorded recently and this is the first mix they have made available. If you've read this blog before you're probably aware of my love of Kalenko's work and I will have another track for you next month so stay tuned...

When You Walk In The Room - Fyfe Dangerfield

The man behind Guillemots is blessed with a good, maybe even great name. Why he even bothered being in a group with a name like that I don't know. I always felt Guillemots were over hyped in the blog world and other than Trains To Brazil never really came up with the goods. In his solo project Fyfe keeps the jangling, bouncing along style of Trains To Brazil but his vocals are more raw, not dissimilar to that of The Cribs.

A Funny Thing - Penguin Prison

I think what attracts me to this track is something in it that reminds me of The Chemical Brothers track Golden Path. I'm sure it's just me and that it doesn't sound that much like it but let me know what you think.

Newest News - Color Radio

I think this track would make a good finale to Color Radio's album when it comes about. It's the first track on an EP they sent to me but dragged out a bit longer it could make an epic ending.

Belated Promise Ring - Iron & Wine

I can't believe I've not bought an album by Iron & Wine yet, with such a soothing voice you are just drawn in to the music. I've had this track for a while and this is another one that's made Insound's top 50 free MP3s of the year.

Somewhere Near Oxford - The Bookclub

The first of two bands formed from now split Milburn, this one contains ex-Milburn member Joe Carnall plus an ex-Arctic Monkey in the form of Andy Nicholson, oh and you can tell but that's no bad thing...

Lonely Tormentor - The Backhanded Compliments

Formed by two former members of Milburn and again you can tell. Obviously they all had a real passion for music, to be able to keep the enthusiasm going after having one crack at it. I hope they do well, there was obviously talent in Milburn, who brought it to the table I don't know. Maybe them all but it just didn't mix right, maybe.

Dance Monkey, Dance - La Folie

Another Sheffield band and we've featured La Folie before, posting their excellent track Interlopers. Thanks to Sheffield Music Scene's birthday compilation we're now posting another quality track.

That Look You Gave That Guy - Eels

Earlier in the month we featured Fresh Blood from Eels new album, now I have the recent single The Look You Gave That Guy. More of a mellow track than Fresh Blood and certainly shows the less rocky side of Eels.

Ledmonton - Clues

Another track now from the top 50 free tracks from Insound. Clues announced their presence last year with the Arcade Fire-esq Perfect Fit - I guess that's not a surprise as they have an ex-AF member in the band. Ledmonton is a sign that Clues wasn't a fluke and maybe I should reconsider buying their album.

5 Steps / 7 Swords - Get Well Soon

I haven't had chance to listen to the lyrics properly yet to explain the songs title but I have heard enough to tell you Get Well Soon (German indie band) are back and on form. Previously we've posted their cover of Born Slippy and the excellent track If This Head Is Missing I Have Gone Hunting. This track has the essence of This Is Hardcore by Pulp.

I Heard It Through The Grapevine vs Feel Good Inc - Marvin Gaye vs Gorillaz

I was tipped off about this track on The World Forgot and as Billy points out the track is taken from DJ Hero. It's not a cover and it's not really a mash-up as such. Well not in my mind, Mash-ups for me are two songs that are laid over each other whereas this track mixes the two songs together, scratching at time. It works REALLY well.

and that brings to the end the last playlist for this year. To finish off your playlist you just need to add the Wild Palms, Mansfield Holiday and thenewno2 and that should keep you entertained for a while.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Time To Cover

Wow I've just seen how long it is since I last posted and it's ages. Trouble is towards the end of the month I start concentrating on the end of month playlist and what with a new baby and new job I have less free time to listen to music never mind blog about it. I've been thinking about putting one of these covers on the end of the playlist for a while and they just keep mounting up. So I thought I'd let you all listen to the four, yes four covers of Time To Pretend by MGMT. Vote for your favourite on the top right hand side of the screen.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Lust For Life - Girls

I've not posted this track before as it's the lead track off Girls album and I didn't think they'd be up for giving it away for free. However I notice Insound have listed it in their top 50 free downloads so here you go, the third track from Girls we have featured on this blog. I guess that tells you about how highly we rate them.

Lust For Life - Girls

Reverend Give Away Free Live Track

Reverend & The Makers are giving away a free live track to promote their 3CD package which they are releasing. The 3CD package has two live CDs and their latest album A French Kiss In The Chaos. The track was recorded in their home city of Sheffield and is one of my favourites off their first album. bandits tells the tale of a 'character' called John who is out gambling and drinking when he should be at home as they've got bills to pay. If you haven't got A French Kiss In The Chaos yet I think this is a great deal. The numbers are limited but if you do want it you can buy it from here.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Confrontation - Mansfield Holiday

This band were recommended to us and so I thought I'd open it up for discussion. I think they show real promise so I thought I'd let Schonberg and Sas have a listen and see what they thought. Schonberg thought Mansfield Holiday had elements of Art Brut and Pigeon Detectives, perhaps lacking the wit and catchy choruses of those two. However he did say that "any band that quote The Wedding Present and The Smiths are alright by me." Sas felt they needed to work on their lyrics more, feeling no connection to them. I think they show potential and a band that are only just making their first steps in the world (2000 listens so far on Myspace) could surprise us when they hit that killer track. I look forward to you, Mr/Mrs Reader, adding your comments.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Over Time - Wild Palms

Quick one for you all today. This landed in my inbox last month and I've only just got around to checking it out. Wild Palms are releasing this track on Popular Recordings on 23rd November and it's a bit different from what I would usually post. It's got an eighties feel to it but beyond that I admit I don't know what I'm talking about. It's not an era that's a big favourite of mine but I like this track and I can feel the influences coming through. Anyway, I'm tired, that's all the gibberish you're getting today.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Fresh Blood - Eels

I think a lot of people from the UK will have a similar relationship to me as far as Eels go. After hearing Novocaine For The Soul and Susan's House in '96 there has not been much mainstream coverage apart from Hollywood film soundtracks - OK that's major mainstream but you get what I mean. The weird thing is you may think that from these tracks, such as Mr. E's Beautiful Blues, that Mark Oliver Everett (Eels is his project) is a happy go lucky kind of guy. Sadly this is not the case, he's had a tough time of it and this comes across in his songs. They tend to either be somber numbers or rocking out tracks. His story is something I may cover another time but let's stick with the music for now.

I had a friend who lent me a lot of their early stuff and I promptly went out and bought Soul Jacker, the 2001/2 release is rammed with tracks that you would enjoy and probably recognise as a hell of a lot of Eels tracks are used in TV and film sound tracks. I enjoy the rock side of Mark's mind and that's where Souljacker excels. The new album, Hombre Lobo, has a few of these tracks, Fresh Blood being one of them. While it may not hit the highs of Souljacker it already has me excited about the next album which is due to be released in 2010.

P.S. If you don't have Souljacker your music collection has a hole in it...

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

New Band - Hans Island

The manager of this unsigned band recently got in touch and claims to manage "the best unsigned band". I asked him to send me their signature tune and he had a problem, he couldn't decide from all their new material which is their best track. He eventually came around to this track and it's certainly a good introduction to the band.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Yomp - thenewno2

Dhani Harrison is the main man behind thenewno2 but you may be more familiar with his late father George. Dhani and Hecks, co-founder of the group, chose the name so the band weren't always associated with Dhani's famous surname (sorry boys). I read somewhere that Dhani had a big hand in The Beatles version of Rock Band and the Yomp track was available as a download as part of that. As a person who was in to The Beatles when Anthology came out I was interested to hear what sound a Beatle son would create. Once I heard the track I could see why they wanted to be anonymous, the sounds good but the hype does it a disservice.

Saturday, 31 October 2009

What's Wrong With The Mainstream October '09 Playist

Here we go again, some months I struggle to put this playlist together and this is one of those months. The problem is I've been listening through all my old playlists and haven't been making much time for new music. It's not necessarily that there's not good new tunes out there it's just I've not had time to hunt them down. However I've got some beauties for you but I have tipped you off about some of them earlier in the month. This playlist is becoming more a round up of this blog over the month but I don't think that's a bad thing is it?

Let's start of with Magic Show from Electric Owls a catchy number that I would normally expect Neon Gold to be championing but this hit my inbox from Vagrant who have been sending me lots of quality tracks recently (the BRMC live album is on their label).

Talking of Neon Gold, Wolf Gang previously released the quality track Pieces of You with them, now on a brand new label Hit Club and he's come up with the goods again with this track.

If you've read this blog before you'll know my love of Yes Cassette and I've got another track by them for you to get stuck in your head. When you haven't heard a track for a couple of weeks and you wake up singing it you know it's catchy - every Yes Cassette song is like that. You don't realise how catchy they are until it's too late.

Some bands seem to understand how important the weekend is to everyone and Pistola kicks are certainly one of those. This track seems to have gone down well since I posted it earlier this month and just had to make it on to my end of month playlist. If you haven't downloaded it yet what are you waiting for?

I love how you the internet and Myspace has meant you can get in touch with bands you like and a lot of them are more than happy to hear from you. The Twees were one of those bands who've replied to me every time I've been in touch. With quality tracks like this I'll be keeping tabs on them.

PS I Love you have a terrible name, mainly because it's the same as a bad rom-com, to be fair I've not seen it but I'm pretty sure it's bad. The name may be bad but the sound they've got is pretty damn cool and you just hope they can put together 10 tracks that match it in a great album.

It used to vinyl and now it's the good old cassette tape. Recently everyone seems to be getting sentimental about the good old cassette. I've got countless t-shirts with cassettes on the front (which got lots of comments when I visited the States last year for some reason) and it's not the bought type people are reminiscing about, it's the good old compilation tape. I've spent many an hour turning my old mixtapes in to playlists on my iPod as I am sure many of you have. Not only has this spawned a lot of t-shirts but also a lot of band names. Mixtapes & Cellmates are another band named after the beloved cassette. Their latest release Soon is a piano rock, middle of the road number (not in a bad way) and is available for your listening pleasure below.

Anja from Haunted Stereo got in touch back in August and I checked out their Myspace site to see what they had to offer. They are a folk band who play a variety of strings and percussion instruments and show real potential. Having listened to a few of their songs a school report would say "could do better" but on hearing Cross The Sea they've hit form. A track that's mellow yet has a catchy riff and a beautiful sound. More of this please HS.

Staying with a bit of folkyness we've got Polynya, they are a bit more uptempo and with a bit of what sounds like record scratching it's a different sound to Haunted Stereo. They mix male and female vocals and have a varied album. In fact if you like this track I will give away the copy of the album and a t-shirt (small) that the band sent me to the first person to comment "give me that t-shirt man".

Oh and Polynya or Polynia (UK spelling) is an area of open water surrounded by sea ice. Everyday is a school day...

Back to the synths now with Southern Belle and a sound that will become a clear reflection of the naughties, I wonder what will be the sound of the teens - is that what we're calling them?

...and on a similar theme we have Clock Opera. This song sounds like the band name more than the song title with all I can describe as a ticking synths.

I brought you a new Humanizer track earlier this month and rather than post that again I thought I'd post a new demo the band were giving away free. I think it clearly shows the recording process the band go through, creating the sound first and then laying the vocals over the top. If they don't make it as a band (I've got a feeling they'll be signed soon) then they could certainly do a line in soundtracks.

Of course to end I have a cover and this is cover like no other I have posted. It's from a Daytrotter Session that Carly Simon did recently and she was ably assisted by her son Ben. While it is listed as Carly doing the track it is actually Ben singing (I'm sure you would have figured that out pretty quickly). There are three other tracks available for download at Daytrotter if you like this. Oh and Martha Wainwright did a session recently which I haven't had chance to check out yet.

So that's it for now, if you want to make this playlist up to the usual amount of tracks add the new Vampire Weekend track that I blogged about this month and the excellent new track from Call The Doctor

Friday, 30 October 2009

BRMC - Live

I'm a bit disappointed I never caught B.R.M.C. live at their height, tracks like Whatever Happened To My Rock and Roll (Punk Song) and Spread Your Love would have been awesome, in fact most tracks of their first album, Red Eyes and Tears is another one, would have been great to hear live. They are such big and dirty tracks that I can imagine yours ears would be ringing and your whole body shaking from the bass.

Luckily for you and me we can appreciate that feeling by cranking the volume up on our iPod speakers, pouring something sticky on the kitchen floor and pressing play on their new live release. The CD has most of their greatest hits and some other not so familiar tracks including a cover of Dirty Old Town with the whole crowd singing along. It's out on 10th November but you can get a sneak preview with the record label cleared track below:

Oh and if you don't own their first album B.R.M.C. then you're missing something in your life.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Full Circle - The Twees

I had a friend request on Myspace from The Twees recently and where possible I try to check out the bands that send me a request ( if you want to add). I read the blurb that had been written about them while I listened to the first song, Full Circle. The description was "...a mixture of The Strokes and Franz Ferdinand" and whoever it was who said that certainly hit the nail on the head. Mixing the dance style nature of Franz Ferdinand with the vocals of The Strokes The Twees have certainly created a sound that will appeal to many.

Oh and if you're wondering what CDs are sat on top of the Monet book, I can make out U2 The Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby but judging by the picture it's probably not their house but is it their CDs?

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Neon Rainbow - The Box Tops

As you probably know we have a bit of a liking for songs used in adverts. The advertising men who only used to listen to Genesis have now caught on to the idea that the right song can sell big time. It can also hamper your advert. The latest Halifax advert had the excellent First Day Of My Life by Bright Eyes but the same images have been replaced by a much more mainstream song in "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher" by Jackie Wilson. I actually think it works much better and fits with the images of people being lifted up by the bank's staff.

Talk Talk a UK telecoms company are currently sponsoring X-Factor (the UK version of Pop Idol). They are using to great effect (in my opinion) Neon Rainbow by The Box Tops. The song gets stuck in your head whether you're watching the show or writing your blog while your wife watches it. Does it make you buy their services? No but it's there for brand building, the advertising salesman's biggest ever con.

The Box Tops were a group from the sixties who mainly did covers but they did have a couple of gems up their sleeves including The Letter and this Neon Rainbow. It's interesting by the way that the two songs mentioned above are soul songs, is there a reason they work so well in adverts?

Monday, 26 October 2009

This Time Next Week...

...hopefully I will have my hands on the debut album from Local Natives. I first wrote about this band in March and since then through this blog you will have heard Airplanes, Sun Hands and World News. I've also heard Stranger Things and Cards & Quarters off the album and I'm sure it's not going to disappoint. Understandably I can't post all those tracks but the band have given me permission to post Sun Hands again. If you like their sound you can preorder their album from Rough Trade and get a free DVD featuring the band playing acoustically in all strange places.

They recently played NME's radar tour and reports coming back suggested they were head and shoulders above everyone else on the tour. Are you surprised?

Friday, 23 October 2009

Friday Night - Pistola Kicks

A quick search for Pistol Kicks has them listed as the most exciting and promising band in Sheffield. Yet when you look a bit further that dates back to '08 but the band do seem to have been busy since. They've released an EP in June and I contacted them in August to see if I could get some more info to post. The band told me they were really busy with gigs and got hundreds of emails each and every day - they really should get a spam filter.

Anyway a quick look on their Myspace tells me that they've recently played a sold out gig at the O2 Academy in Sheffield. Not only that but they've added strings to their set which understandably went down well.

This is their signature tune.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

About Time Too

Hopefully regular readers will notice that I feature quite a few Sheffield bands on this blog. I was brought up just outside Sheffield but I now live in Bristol. Sadly access to information on unsigned and new bands in Bristol is pretty scarce and so I can't give you as much info on them.

Well maybe that is all about to change. Sat waiting for me when I got home the other day was a CD sampler from Fear of Fiction a new not-for-profit indie label in Bristol. The brain child of Sam Betts and Rob Halworth of Emphatica and Call The Doctor respectively, Fear of Fiction is there to promote bands they like and to put on some great live nights with local bands.

They currently have an open invitation on their site for bands who want to play at one of the nights. They've already had a great response but I notice there are a lot of bands from further afield so I'm hoping they'll be more Bristol bands that come out of the woodwork.

On Off Switch are the first band I've discovered through the label, described as electro/punk rock with give it all female vocals.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Portishead / Zero 7 esq track from humanizer

I was contacted recently by Ste of humanizer to see if I would be around at In The City. Sadly I won't but humanizer will be and they will be rubbing shoulders with some top artists. ITC, being held in Manchester, seems to be similar to the Tramlines event run earlier this year in Sheffield. With a cross range of bands from unsigned artists such as humanizer, to more established artists such as Frightened Rabbit and Jon McClure.

While Ste was about I managed to get out of him the mp3 for one of their latest tracks A Fine Farewell. While it is certainly a different direction to their earlier material a don't think it's a farewell to their old sound (if they can have an 'old' sound for such a new band). This new track features guest vocalist Sam and her sultry vocals take the band in a whole new direction.

In the past I've heard successful bands say that the time they spent trying to get signed allowed them to put in the time perfecting their sound, trying new things out and nailing what makes them stand out from all the other wannabes on Myspace. This certainly seems to be working for humanizer who are currently working with two vocalists and are developing with every performance and track they lay down.

A Fine Farewell certainly tips its hat towards the likes of Portishead, Massive Attack, both from the Bristol area where I live, and also Zero 7. This may surprise regular readers of 3WTM as I have previously written about humanizer, posting the great track Harbour City. Harbour City, now streaming on their Myspace site with new vocals, has the familiar keyboard sounds of Catherine Ellen but has male vocals that makes it a much more rocky track. I actually prefer the original version of this track but as I mentioned the band are still experimenting with their sound and the track is still in its demo stage so who knows where it will go before it's finished.

I'm sure the band would love to know what you think of this track and if you get chance head over to Jabez Cleg on the 20th if you get chance.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Exclusive Preview of the Call The Doctor Mini Album

I'm guessing Call The Doctor might have read my last post on them as without warning what should arrive in my inbox, that's right the new CTD mini album. So what, I hear you say, we still have to wait for the album, well fear not readers I have been given the go ahead to share a track with you and as I'm feeling generous I'm going to give away one CD copy of the album. None of this answering a question trickiness, the first person to post a comment wins the album.

The album is self funded by the band and have got to shift a fair few to get their money back. So if you feel like supporting grass roots music you can nip over here and buy the album. You can also buy T-shirts and other merchandise.

I've decided to post the final track on the album, Little Bones, which I think shows how far the band have come along since I first posted about them.

...and no Schonberg's first comment doesn't win the album.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Facelove - PS I Love You

I first checked this band out on the other day, watching their video for Facelove. I normally don't bother watching posted videos but the comment that it was a Joy Division inspired video had me intrigued. I've recently watched Control, the videography (3WTM made up word I think) of Joy Division. What a happy chain of events that led to me contacting PS I Love You and asking if I could post their track. Benjamin (one half of PS I Love You with the other being Paul) came back with the thumbs up and I'm pleased to present you with two minutes thirty seven seconds of awesomeness.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Here Comes Your Man - Pixies Cover

I think I've mentioned before my mixed view of be introduced to a band by a cover version. While it makes it easier for the listener to accept the band on the first listen it can lead to false expectations and perceptions of a band. However, what it does allow a band to do is show what kind of style they have and lets you pigeon hole them without having to state influences.

Relation's promo email arrived in my inbox recently and they offered their cover version of Here Comes Your Man (originally by the Pixies) as a free download. Interested to see where you could take that song with a reworking I nipped over to their myspace. The Essex twosome, Oliver Keech and Andrew Leary, have given the track an electro makeover and it works, weirdly. I think if you're going to do a cover, make it your own, add something that wasn't there in the original and they've done that. Think of Pet Shop Boys and Hot Chip collaborating and you're about there.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Vampire Weekend New Freebie

Whenever I put together a mix tape (CD) for someone who's not that in to their music I nearly always put A-Punk by Vampire Weekend on it. Of course it always goes down well and so it should, for me it's the highlight of their debut album. The rest of the album for me is a bit hit and miss and while they've created a sound not common in mainstream music at the moment it's not enough just to have a different sound.

Vampire Weekend are back with some new material and are giving away Horchata, not straying too far from their original sound it's a promising return for the African influenced band.

Monday, 5 October 2009

New Call The Doctor Mini Album

Since we last checked in with Call The Doctor they've come on in leaps and bounds. I saw them at the start of August (did I mention that?) and they'd become much more accomplished performers, no longer smiling at each other when they messed up - perhaps they just didn't mess up? After that they headed to the big smoke to record their debut mini album and apart from gigging their little hearts out I think that brings us up to date.

The mini album is out at the end of the month and fans will be pleased to hear the album doesn't see them moving in a new direction but instead honing their talents. The original influences are still there, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and most definitely PJ Harvey on the "Is This Love?" sounding "Four Foot Two". I'd love to think that the song title was a nod towards the beautiful game but I think I'm right in saying they're no football fans. I don't have a new track to share with you from the new album but you can stream three of the songs off the new album at their Myspace site. Little Bones is the perfect album closer and is sounding like my favourite so far.

You can pre-order the self released album here.

They are currently touring to promote the album including a free gig on Friday in Bristol:

9 Oct 200920:00
mother’s ruin w/ the browniesbristol
16 Oct 200920:00
kit kat club @ the crewnuneaton
17 Oct 200914:00
stb bristol bands cd launch alldayerbristol
18 Oct 200920:00
scruffy murphy’sbirmingham
19 Oct 200920:00
ten feet tallcardiff
20 Oct 200920:00
st james wine vaultsBath
21 Oct 200920:00
the quicksilver mailyeovil
22 Oct 200920:00
the skiving scholarplymouth
23 Oct 200920:00
24 Oct 200920:00
25 Oct 200920:00
album tourBOOK US NOW!!!
29 Oct 200920:00
the croftbristol
26 Nov 200920:00
the coolerbristol
28 Nov 200920:00
camden barflyLONDON

MP3: Ain't Free - Call The Doctor (taken from an earlier released EP)

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

What's Wrong With The Mainstream September '09 Playlist

Some how I've managed to put together this months playlist and it's a corker. Admittedly I've written the posts in the early hours so they're probably filled with mistakes and while the writing quality might not be there, it certainly won't be found lacking in the music.

Remember you can listen to the tracks as you read by clicking on the play icon next to the link, it will automatically move on to the next track when the song finishes playing. Your comments are always welcome even if you don't like the tracks or disagree with what I say.

Icicles For Fingers - Nathan Oliver

OK, let's get this show on the road. To start off with with we've got Nathan Oliver and on this track he's taken a sound reminiscent of The Coral or The Last Shadow Puppets and added an American tinge. It works well, not only that but he's giving away two more songs from his album. Just head over to his site.

Fragile - Frankie & The Heartstrings

When you go on a band's myspace and they haven't got any songs posted up you'd think your chances of getting a song off them to post would be pretty slim but the same morning I enquired I got a reply with music attached. So I'm very pleased to bring you this quality track. Remember you can now preview a track before downloading by clicking on the play button to the left of the link.

Photoshop Handsome - Everything Everything

This is a song that makes me think of the graphic designers I used to work with. One of them said there's nothing new in design just different takes on what has already been done. That might be the case with design but is it with music? I think Everything Everything have come up with an original sound and song. It's not ground breaking but it's something refreshing for your ears.

This Is Our Time - Lion O'Brien

Lion O'Brien are an unsigned band who recently self released an EP through iTunes and Amazon. I think it's great that a band can get their songs on iTunes for such a low cost (£60 I think). Anyway they sent me through the EP and I've selected this upbeat track for your listening pleasure. You can also get some of their other tracks free here.