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)