Saturday, 31 January 2009

What's Wrong With The Mainstream January Playlist

It's back and better than ever, no not Lost, but the world famous What's Wrong With The Mainstream end of month playlist. After a rest in December I am back with the playlist that has the best tracks I've found from other blogs, radio and free downloads from bands. They're not always brand new tracks, sometimes they've been out a while and are new to me. That's especially the case this month with lots of people posting their "best of" lists.

First up are three tracks with female lead vocals. Now normally I'm not a fan but there's something in all of these that got me interested, try them for yourself.

Obsessions by Marina & The Diamonds is a quality track for one major reason, Marina's voice, well I'm guessing she's called Marina. Oh and she's quiet cute. It's out on Neon Gold Records on Valentine's day.

MP3: Obsessions - Marina & The Diamonds

Next up is La Roux and if you like a bit of synths then this might be for you. I know Schonberg's a fan of Quicksand by La Roux so you might want to check that out as well.

MP3: Fascination - La Roux

Little Boots are tipped to be hot in 2009 by the BBC's Sound of 2009, some sceptical people may suggest that the only reason bands get in that list is by record companies pushing hyping them up before their music is released. However with acts like Passion Pit on their from a smaller label maybe it is a genuine guide to quality music, hold on, what's that you say, Duffy was on last years list?

This track was given away as single of the week on iTunes.

MP3: Stuck On Repeat - Little Boots

I've not been back from my snowboarding holiday two minutes and so I'm still listening to songs that remind me of the holiday. Glitches N Bugs was introduced to me on holiday and I don't know anything about the band, The Shortwave Set. They have male and female vocals and I think they sound a bit like Belle & Sebastian, folk / indie I guess. Although having just re-read that line it makes them sound pants. Just listen to the track and make your mind for yourself alright?

MP3: Glitches N Bugs - The Shortwave Set

Too Young To Love is a dirty feeling track, a bit Kasabian like and a bit early Black Rebel Motorcycle Club I think. Having listened to their other songs on myspace I think they sound a bit like The Stone Roses / The Charlatans. Woh, that's grouped them with a lot of established artists, not sure the tracks THAT good.

MP3: Too Young To Love - The Big Pink

Falling in the love (On The 126) - SKINT & DEMORALISED

A band that are in to spoken word poetry have adapted their style to make a quality sound. This is a free demo available from their My
Space site. Not unlike The Streets but don't let that put you off. They are touring in February and their debut album is out in March along with their next single.

MP3: Falling in the love (On The 126) - SKINT & DEMORALISED

Dead End - Master Shortie

"She can cook much better than YOU, She looks much better than YOU, she does it much better than YOU". Nuff said.

MP3: Dead End - Master Shortie

If This Head Is Missing I Have Gone Hunting - Get Well Soon

According to Uncut if you're a fan of The National, Arcade Fire and Radiohead you will like this band. I'm not sure about the Radiohead comparison apart from one of his tracks sounds a bit like No Surprises. I've read some reviews my normos and they rightly point to the fact that he sounds like a deeper Jarvis Cocker but I don't think you can really point to it sounding like Pulp. I have just tried getting hold of the album and seem to have drawn a blank, it doesn't seem to be available anywhere in the UK at the moment. I'll have a bit more of an exhaustive look when I've got more time. Great song though.

MP3: If This Head Is Missing I Have Gone Hunting - Get Well Soon

How To Lose Your Bestfriend - Archangel

Please someone put me out of my misery! Who does this song remind me of? The thing is I think it sounds like two bands, the opening is exactly the same as the opening on another track (Foo Fighter, Queens of the Stoneage?) but I can't work out which track or band. When the track gets going it doesn't sound like like either of these bands, sorry to disappoint you, but then sounds like someone else (the oohs in the background definitely remind me of something). Give me a clue someone. Oh and it's a good track in its own right as well.

MP3: How To Lose Your Bestfriend - Archangel

Sorry - Youth Group

So you go and play football (soccer to you guys in America), it goes to extra-time and penalties. You score the winning penalty so it'd be rude not to go to the pub to celebrate, plus you want to see if you get a free pint for man of the match. You stumble home stinking of sweat and booze only to remember you were supposed to have done the washing up and then taking your mrs out for a meal. Whoops! The only way out is to put this song on. As they repeat "I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry, I'm so terribly, terribly sorry" you can sit down and relax. It won't save you from the wrath of your bird but at least it's saved you the effort of trying to say sorry.

Thanks to Music Of The Moment for this track.

MP3: Sorry - Youth Group

Sometime Around Midnight - The Airbourne Toxic Event

A great tip off from my brother-in-law. I think they sound a bit like early U2. I say they very reticently as I'm not a massive fan of U2 but like some of their stuff. I would even go as far to say it is similar to One.

MP3: Sometime Around Midnight - The Airbourne Toxic Event

Lion In A Coma - Animal Collective

Quickly moving on from that big claim I bring you Animal Collective. Seems like I've missed a trick with these guys, I've grabbed a few of their songs and they sound great. I guess you could compare them to Vampire Weekend as on this track it sounds like there's a didgerido. Everyone seems to be blogging about them at the moment so if you like this track have a look around the web...

MP3: Lion In A Coma - Animal Collective

Embrace (feat Ladyhawke) - Pnau

Featured in Your Head's Not Right's Top 20 Tracks of 2008 this track gets under your skin with chorus just going around and around in your head. Another female vocal, maybe I'm coming around to them...

MP3: Embrace (feat Ladyhawke) - Pnau

Grey X Sage (Misty Night) - Theophilus London

I can't work this track out. It's got a high pitch bit in it that is reminiscent of an Akon track but isn't quite "hamster" pitch. Is it cool? Is it cheesy pop? You tell me. There's definitely something of quality there and I keep going back to listen to it again so that's what gets it on this months playlist.

MP3: Grey X Sage (Misty Night) - Theophilus London

The Fear (Christian Vorbau Remix) - Lily Allen

This is the first of a few songs that a got from the great German blog Welike Itindie. Well I thought it was German and they were just good at English until I realised it's We Like It. Indie oops. We'll keep that as our little secret shall we? Anyway this is a remix of Lily Allen's first release off her new album and Ilikeit.

MP3: The Fear (Christian Vorbau Remix) - Lily Allen

Discotexas Theme (Digitalfoxglove remix) - Discotexas

Time for some dance / mainstream pop! You have our German friends from We Like It. Indie to thank for this one too. Ich bin ein dancer as one would use as a chat up line in Germany.

MP3:Discotexas Theme (Digitalfoxglove remix) - Discotexas

Undercover Martyn - Two Door Cinema

Not sure how to describe this band, I don't think they're that disimilar to Born Ruffians. Have a listen and let me know what you think. I've got a few tracks by them and it was hard to decide which one to post as they are all pretty good.

MP3: Undercover Martyn - Two Door Cinema

Somos Libres - Sore

It's always difficult to get in to a band that sing in a foreign language, I guess being English this is something I have to do a lot less than other people in Europe. I tend to make up my own lyrics to Sigur Ros songs but it's not as easy to do with this band. I wish I could remember more about the band and where I got this song from. I remember reading that they had been voted the fourth best band of all time in their own country (or something like that). Anyway cool indie music for you to enjoy.

MP3: Somos Libres - Sore

Lonely Planet - Summer Cats

This song has been kicking around on my iTunes for a little while but hadn't been getting much attention as it wasn't labelled properly. Hopefully I've labelled it correctly and you can enjoy two minutes of what sounds like 6Music fodder to me.

MP3: Lonely Planet - Summer Cats

I Kissed A Girl (Katy Perry cover) - Corin Joel

I thought it'd be good to end the playlist on a cover, in fact I might do that every month from now on, we'll see. Anyway I got this cover from the excellent which is a blog that posts folk cover versions of songs. I'm not sure what the definition of a folk cover is, I would just class this as acoustic but what do I know. Enjoy the bit where Joel sings about the taste of her Cherry Chipstick, surely all Chipsticks are salt and vinegar?

MP3: I Kissed A Girl (Katy Perry cover) - Corin Joel

Friday, 30 January 2009

The Mighty Rufus cover Carly Simon

Excellent covers band The Mighty Rufus fronted the brilliantly named Barry White, yes that really is his name, recently added Carly Simon's Nobody Does It Better to their set. Sadly I haven't got an mp3 I can share with you of their performance. However, fear not, I have a cover of it by lesser know band Radiohead, I'm sure you guys will be big too one day.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Get off me you bummer! - More Spaced Tracks

OK, so I've been watching lots of Spaced recently but who can blame me, it's a great series and more to enjoy the more you watch it. I've just found out there's a homage-o-meter extra that you can switch on and it will tell you what film they are referring to so the geek inside of me can't wait to do that.

There are two tracks that I have managed to track down thanks to the excellent Spaced Out web site. First up is the a-team remix from the scene in the club, a great scene where army-mad Mike (he once stole a tank and tried to invade Paris) gets everybody in the club to make shapes to this song. I've searched for it on YouTube but can't see it anywhere.

You could say this track is then topped by the great dance version of the Imperial March from Star Wars. Obi Jal has taught you well.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Annie Mac's Mini Mix - Mark Ronson

I've been downloading a lot more dance mixes recently to listen to while I'm running. A great site for this is Pearson Towers go on there and have a look at the mixes. It's got a great selection and one of the most popular on there is Mark Ronson. His Essential Mix is great, I definitely recommend that and to give you a taster here is his Mini Mix he did for Annie Mac on Radio 1.

MP3: Mini Mix - Mark Ronson

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Red Dwarf Is Back For A New Series

How come I've only just found out about this? It was announced in September that there will be two new epsiodes plus a "making of" epsiode and that will be "followed by a "no holds barred" episode without sets, special effects or autocue." accotding to the bbc. A quick look at and it really does look real. Robert Llewellyn has been in to have his head measured and has even had a cast made for his part as Kryten.

To celebrate this news below are two classic clips from the show plus a very weird 4 minute mashed up version of the theme tune by Howard Goodall. Don't know what Red Dwarf is? What kind of smeg are you?

White Lies Album Review Taken Down

My White Lies album review has been taken down despite me only offering songs that the band had previously made available free elsewhere. If only they'd asked I'd have taken them down, now i've lost my album review as I didn't think I'd need to back it up...

Monday, 26 January 2009

The Worst Day Of The Year

"The last Monday in January, is apparantly, the worst day of the year"

I'm not sure what Ghosts are hoping to acheive with a line like that in their happy go lucky pop but it always sticks with me. Just look at it this way, once you're through today life can only get better. "Open your eyes, the world's outside" have a great Monday!

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Album Review: White lies - To Lose My Life

It's been a while since we've had an album review on What's Wrong With The Mainstream and what better way to kick off the new year than with White Lies. I have to take my hat off to the record companies as they often give us a big album release in January to look forward to (Arctic Monkeys first album springs to mind).

I think the White Lies album is everything I expected and hoped for. Yes they seemed to be death obsessed and they wear black but actually their music isn't actually as depressing as you might imagine. In fact it can be quite up lifting. I'm not saying it's the type of music you want to listen to while you're working in the gym (I tried running to it but did a rubbish time) but it can be quite euphoric despite what they are talking about.

I think what I like about the band is that really try to tell a story, try to portray something with their songs so that after the fiftieth time of listening to a track you can still get something from it. I was taught during my sales training that you should make your potential customers picture themselves using your product. That way they can see themselves dealing with your organisation. I think White Lies draw you in to their music in the same way, not just through their lyrics but the videos, the packaging, everything. I like it. Well I do up to a point, I just wonder how much of it is genuine and how much of it is manufactured. I think some of it is very genuine, the fact that they used to be called Fear of Flying and in Death they talk about the fear of flying suggests it is genuine.

I guess the proof of the pudding is in the eating and when it comes down to it the album has quality tracks running right through it. My favourite tracks at the moment are Unfinished Business, Death and From The Stars but I'm sure that will change as I hear the other tracks more. I was never in to a lot of the 80s bands they've been compared to so I'm not going to comment on that, just go out and buy it and find out for yourself.

MP3: Unfinished Business - White Lies

MP3: From The Stars - White Lies

(Both tracks have been made available for free in one way or another by the band)

These tracks have now been taken down as this is the second time this has been posted. Thanks to Sid who gave me the nudge to get it back up

Friday, 23 January 2009

Fantastic New Band From Leeds

The Jones are a band I've come across through my good friend QShoes (no, I don't know why that's his nickname). They're quite similar to The Music and The Sunshine Underground, with fast paced rock. Their first single In My Head is due out early this year on Atomic records (thanks to Ben from their management for giving me the OK to post the track). If you like either The Music or The Sunshine Underground I definitely recommend you check out this track.

They currently have three gigs coming up:

Feb 11 2009
Revolution Bradford
Feb 13 2009

Visit the band's Myspace site The Jones

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Call The Doctor Gig! Plus new track

That's right, Call The Doctor are going to be playing in Bristol and I'm going to miss it! Sadly I have a 30th birthday party to go to, may be I can catch them when they play the Louisiana?

Full gig listing:

7 Feb 2009
The Mother’s Ruin w/ Hair Traffic Control

24 Feb 2009
bristol radio acoustic session

4 Mar 2009

9 Mar 2009
The Harley

14 Mar 2009
rocksoc BoB???

21 Mar 2009
a pub

Visit their myspace site at where I notice they have now changed Not Free to be called Ain't Free.

MP3: Not Free - Call The Doctor

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Two Great Soundalike Tracks

I was recently discussing how I could see the great track For Tomorrow by Emerald Park being used in a film or TV programme as a soundtrack. It is was agreed that it would be great as a soundtrack to a montage, maybe some friends moving in to a house and decorating. Then low and behold I'm watching the last episode of the great Spaced series and on comes the Stanton Lick by Lemon Jelly . Not only is it a very similar track to For Tomorrow but it's used in a montage about a group of friends. OK so they don't move in to the house together (they already live together) or paint anything but you get the idea.

If you haven't discovered Spaced yet it is a fantastic series based on a group of friends who live in a house together, the writers pay great homage to films such as Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Scarface etc. It's made by the same writer / director team that brought you Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Check it out now.

Oh and for those of you who have seen the series check this out on YouTube I might call my first baby Luke...

Monday, 19 January 2009

Pop Quiz - The Answer!

Did you get it? Of course you did! Yep, the thing that the last 10 tracks have all had in common is that the lyrics mention the title of the album in which they're taken from, without those lyrics also being the title of the song. Got that? By way of explanation, the full list is given below:

Cannonball - The Breeders (Spitting in a wishing well, Blown to hell... crash I'm the last splash )

Country Girl - Primal Scream (You gotta keep on keepin' on, When you, Got the riot city blues)

Parallel Lines - Shed Seven (It's a maximum high, With my parallel lines)

Chocolate - Snow Patrol (This is the straw, final straw in the, Roof of my mouth as I lie to you)

D is for Dangerous - Arctic Monkeys (I think you should know you're his favourite worst nightmare)

Starlight - Muse (Our hopes and expectations, Black holes and revelations)

Camera - Editors (If we run they'll look in The Back Room)

Big Sur - The Thrills (So Much For The City, tell me you'll dance to the end)

NYC - Interpol (It is up to me now, Turn On The Bright Lights)

Party For Your Right To Fight - Public Enemy (But it's proven and fact, and it takes a nation of millions to hold us back )

Thanks to all those who had a guess and well done to those who got it right! The prize is in the post!!!

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Pop Quiz (Part 10)

Find the link between ten tracks, this is the last one. If you're still stuck my clue is "the devil's in the detail" it's not much of clue I just wanted to quote The Vanishing an underrated film. Anyway I haven't got much to write today as I'm ashamed to admit I know very little about Public Enemy. I could blag it by quoting what I found on google "Tony Blair became Public Enemy number 1 after he agreed to the invasion of Iraq because of weapons of mass destruction that don't exist" but I don't want to go all political on your asses (and I didn't find that on google).
Hope you enjoyed the Pop Quiz, Schonberg will be posting tomorrow with the answer, if you have enjoyed it give him some love by leaving a comment.

MP3: Party For Your Right To Fight - Public Enemy

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Pop Quiz (Part 9)

So you've all got the link between the songs and you're wishing I'd just hurry up and post the answer? Well only one more track to post after today and I think tomorrow's track is no help at all. So if you haven't got it yet let's hope you get it today.

Interpol are one of those bands whose albums always grow on me over time and I only listen to tend to listen to their most recent album in one go, I never just pick certain tracks to listen to. Well never's a strong word but you know what I mean. If you've not got in to Interpol yet (similar to White Lies and Joy Division) I recommend picking up one of their albums because single tracks probably don't do them justice.

MP3: NYC - Interpol

Friday, 16 January 2009

Pop Quiz (Part 8)

So all you have to do is guess what the ten tracks I'm posting have in common (and not notice that I've been on holiday the whole time). Good luck.

Track eight and it's those California loving Irish men The Thrills. Having recorded a lot of their first album in Santa Cruz the album is a great soundtrack to a holiday on the west coast. Having been there on holiday recently we headed for Big Sur and managed to drive right through it without noticing. As the The Thrills insist "don't go back to Big Sur" we didn't want to risk their wrath and so we kept going. Again not a clue to what the link is but what else am I supposed to write in these bits?

Anyway enjoy the song.

MP3: Big Sur - The Thrills

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Pop Quiz (Part 7)

Just a quick recap for those of you new to this Pop Quiz. Every day for ten days I'm posting a track and you have to guess what the link is between them. The quiz is taken from a Pop Quiz that Schonberg sent me by CD and he's chosen the ten songs I'm posting. I've even given him contributor access to the blog so he will give you the answer at the end.

Enough of my ramblings and on with today's song. Editors lead singer Tom Smith has the most amazing voice, in fact when I saw him on TV his voice didn't seem to match his face. I guess it's a bit like seeing a Radio DJ for the first time having listened to them on radio for year, Steve "ears" Lamacq springs to mind.

MP3: Camera - Editors

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Pop Quiz (Part 6)

Each day, for ten days, I'm posting a track and you have to guess what they've got in common.

What can I say about Muse that hasn't already been said by everyone already? I think they're one of those bands that you're either in to or you aren't. Well I think that was the case until their most recent album which seemed to go down well with the masses. I think when music is really good it doesn't matter what genre it is, people like good music.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Pop Quiz (Part 5)

Each day, for ten days, I'm posting a track and you have to guess what they've got in common.

This is one of the Arctic Monkeys' shorter tracks and I think it shows the darker side of the band.

MP3: D Is For Dangerous - Arctic Monkeys

Monday, 12 January 2009

Pop Quiz (Part 4)

Each day, for ten days, I'm posting a track and you have to guess what they've got in common.

This pounding track comes from Snow Patrol, anyone wondering whether the band could follow up Run were soon eating their words when they released this track and re-released Spitting Games. How Snow Patrol went from an average band to going platinum in the USA I don't know. Whether it was the addition of a new guitarist after their first two albums or better production in the studio, I guess I'll never know.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Pop Quiz (Part 3)

Each day, for ten days, I'm posting a track and you have to guess what they've got in common. Today's track comes from one of my favourite band of the 90's. I loved Shed Seven and I know they may not be the coolest of bands and have the worst band name ever I'm still very fond of them. In fact when they toured recently I finally got to see them and Rick Witter was the front man I always hoped and thought he would be. He entertained the crowd when the Academy's usual crapness wiped out the music and my only wish was that it went on for longer.
If you liked Brit Pop but haven't heard this song I recommend you download it. Oh and don't forget to try and work out what the link is.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Pop Quiz (Part 2)

Each day, for ten days, I'm posting a track and you have to guess what they've got in common. Up today is the song ITV used in their coverage of the World Cup last year (no that's not a clue).

MP3: Country Girl - Primal Scream

Friday, 9 January 2009

Pop Quiz (Part 1)

After the HUGE success of the Missing Link quiz (what I'm not allowed to hype something in a blog?) I thought I'd post another quiz with the help of Schonberg. He sent me a CD a while back without any track listings and I had to guess what linked all the songs together. So for the next ten days I will post a track a day and you have to guess what the link is between them all. Simple really.

MP3: Cannonball - The Breeders

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Big Breakfast Theme / Then I Kissed Her

I was going through songs to take off my iPod to make space for some new stuff and came across Then I Kissed Her by The Beach Boys. It reminded me how much it sounds like the Big Breakfast theme composed by David Arnold. It's also used in the Goodfellas film, Then I Kissed Her not The Big Breakfast theme, but I've got a feeling it's not included on the CD soundtrack.

MP3: Big Breakfast Theme

MP3: Then I Kissed - The Beach Boys

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Let Me Get Some Action From The Back Section

When I first went snowboarding we were at a small place with only a couple of drag lifts. We soon started listening to music on our walkmans (should that be walkmen?). Anyway it was at this point that I realised too much of music was tame and only Greenday and Foo Fighters had any bite to them. When I got back off holiday I address this situation and there's no better song to board to that Body Movin' by The Beastie Boys.

Oh and the picutre is of the back section in Les Gets, a protected area you can't board on (I think).

MP3: Body Movin' (Fatboy Slim Remix) - The Beastie Boys

Monday, 5 January 2009

I'm Going Boarding

It's not long now until I'm off snowboarding again and to celebrate I thought I'd post a few tracks of the coming days that either remind me of snowboarding or are good to snowboard to. The picture above is from my early days at snowboarding when we used to go to Luosto in Finland. The picture shows us hiking out to the weather station before we boarded down to the bottom. Glad we're not going out there this year, next weeks forecast is averaging at about -12 Celsius.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Death (Crystal Castles Remix) - White Lies

I know this has been around for a bit (it was the b-side to the single) but it's taken a while to grow on me and it's another good track to run to. Plus while I'm waiting for the album I've got 7 tracks from White Lies including this on rotation.

MP3: Death (Crystal Castles Remix) - White Lies

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Tick followed tock - another great advert

I thought I'd choose an advert with a better track for my next post, oh and a bit of a cooler brand. I'm told in some places that the crest of the waves are called white horses and hence the horses in the advert.

This was all to fit in with the "good things come to those who wait" campaign that Guinness ran to explain why you have to wait longer for your beer at the bar. He waits, that's what he does...

MP3: Phat Planet - Leftfield

Friday, 2 January 2009

The Difference Is All In The Studio

I have come across two songs recently that have been reworked by the band in the studio and both have had (in my opinion) vary success.

First up let's look at The Virgins, I first heard Rich Girls from their '07 self titled EP. I loved the bass in it and it was definitely the hook of the song. Fast forward to 2008 and the song is included on the full length, eponymous LP. This time the song has been "polished" up for mass release. Sadly I don't like the new version as much and wish the rest of the album was as raw as the original EP. Is it only me?

MP3: Rich Girls - The Virgins ('07 version)

MP3: Rich Girls - The Virgins ('08 version)

Next let's look at Port O'Brien's I Woke Up Today. They revamped the song to be released as a single and the result is great. The song has more urgency and the thumping drums added really add to the song. Have a listen to the two versions and see what you think.

MP4: I Woke Up Today - Port O'Brien (album version)

MP3: I Woke Up Today - Port O'Brien(single version)

Because they're both on zShare you don't even need to download them, if you just want to have a listen to the difference between them you can preview them.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Freebie from Coldplay: Viva La Vida (Thin White Duke Mix)

I guess a lot of you may already have this but for those of you who haven't Coldplay gave this away on Christmas day. It's a remix of Viva La Vida (Thin White Duke Mix) and I think it's pretty good. I've been running with my iPod a lot recently and so I've got in to more dance music because of the quicker beat. This works well, if your New Years Resolution is to do more exercise you may want to try this out.