Saturday, 31 December 2011

Schönbys 2011 - Best album

The Schönbys are fictional, made-up awards for me to let you know what I've enjoyed listening to during 2011. Winners and nominations are drawn from music I have seen, heard or bought during the preceding 12 months.

2010, to me, seemed a poor year for music. When it came to choosing my top albums of the year I struggled to come up with a top 5. Was it a general dearth of good music, or just the fact that having a young baby meant I had other things on my mind? Maybe both these things transpired to cause me to buy precious little music. In order to make sure 2011 didn't go the same way I vowed to purchase at least 12 albums in the year, one a month if possible, so that I could get to this point in the year with a considered view on the best album of the year to share with you.
In the end I bought 18 albums, and had access to a few more, so here, for your delight, or ridicule, or (hopefully) comments, is my top 10 of the year.

10. Young Knives - Ornaments From a Silver Arcade
Young Knives' third full-length album may have only reached #80 (and lasted only 1 week) in the official album charts, but displays a progression from their early rawness, whilst still keeping the infectious riffs and humorous lyrics.

Stand out track: Human Again
Young Knives - Human Again by

9. Elbow - Build a Rocket Boys!
I would get lynched if I didn't include Elbow in my top 10 of the year. Could easily have been a shadow of 2008's Seldom Seen Kid, but stands up well. A poignant, compelling story throughout.

Stand out track: Lippy Kids
Elbow - Lippy Kids by gwehen

8. The Vaccines - What Did You Expect From...
Initial disappointment that The Vaccine's debut album was not 11 versions of 'Wreckin' Bar' was slowly but surely replaced by an appreciation of the indie pop melodies. Not punk, but still well worth a listen.

Stand out track: Wreckin' Bar (Ra Ra Ra)
Wreckin' Bar (Ra Ra Ra) by The Vaccines

7. PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
I came late to the Mercury Music Prize winner, but listened to it almost continuously whilst on business in the South of Italy. Wilfred Owen with a guitar, this album is classic Polly Jean; sad, soulful and uplifting all at the same time.

Stand out track: The Last Living Rose
The Last Living Rose by PJ Harvey by coolhunting

6. White Lies - Ritual
It seems an age since White Lies released their second album. To many this was not a patch on the debut album but to me it was an obvious progression towards a more electronic feel to the music. Think more Depeche Mode than Joy Division.

Stand out track: Is Love

5. The Horrors - Skying
Another band attempting to better a previous Mercury Prize nomination this year were The Horrors. I guess there was quite a bit of hype surrounding this release, and when 'Still Life' was released I knew that the album would be close to another classic. The Horrors are become somewhat of a chameleon band, the style of each of their three albums so far have been distinctly different, and some compared this particular incarnation to Simple Minds. There are some early Simple Minds influences in the album, yes, but why is that a bad thing?

Stand out track: Endless Blue (but I can't find it to stream so here's Still Life)
The Horrors - Still Life by The Recommender

4. White Denim - D
I was amazed to find out that White Denim were formed in 2006 and had six studio albums to date, as previous to the release of 'D' they were not on my radar. That could have something to do with the continuous metamorphosis from punky, garage band to fully fledged 70s americana. The album is a collection of fantastic riffs and cool, lazy vocals.

Stand out track: Bess St.
White Denim - Bess St by ProspectPark

3. The Strokes - Angles
I've already waxed lyrical about the return of the Strokes. The band won this blog site's album of the decade with it's 2001 debut release, but since then there's been a steady decline in the quality of the bands output. Cue an extensive break and band members' solo projects, and then just when everyone was finally forgetting about The Stokes, bang! They release 'Angles' and they're back to their best. The album returns to the basics of 'Is this It' without the layers of overproduction and has some very catchy tunes.

Stand out track: Under Cover of Darkness
Strokes - Under Cover Of Darkness by flogase

2. Metronomy - English Riviera
Looking around the internet, I can't add anything to the plaudits that this album has received. The third release from Devon's finest really brought them from electronic experimental instrumentalists to the doorstep of mainstream. Don't take my word for it, this is what the NME wrote; "With this, his third full-length album, Joe Mount has transformed his Metronomy project from a jaunty, brilliant, yet ultimately niche electro outfit into one of the most expansive and visionary pop bands in the country"

Stand out track: The Bay (downloadable)
Metronomy - The Bay by acrylica

1. Pete and the Pirates - One Thousand Pictures
I wasn't interested in Pete and the Pirates' first album release in 2008, I thought they were forgettable indie pop, however after the release of 'Winter' and 'Come to the Bar' I realised that this indie pop had an edge to it, and the more I listened the more I could hear the post-punk suburban rock of The Buzzcocks or The Undertones in there. The album does not have one bad song on it, why it only reached #75 in the official charts is beyond me. Anyway, I hope the stand out track below will change your view of Pete and the Pirates like it did me.

Stand out track: Half Moon Street (listen to Blood Gets Thin too, but it's not on Soundcloud) Pete and The Pirates - Half Moon Street by Jaumita

Fairly decent top 10 don't you think? No? Well, if you want to tell me where I went wrong then leave a comment with your top 10 - we can compare and contrast.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Schönbys 2011 - Best single

The Schönbys are fictional, made-up awards for me to let you know what I've enjoyed listening to during 2011. Winners and nominations are drawn from music I have seen, heard or bought during the preceding 12 months.

2011 has been a great year for the single, so great that I came up with 15 songs for my top 5 singles of the year. It really was difficult to choose, my first attempt at picking my favourite 5 resulted in an all-female line-up. However, I don't want to be accused of sexism like the Sports Personality of the Year people (congratulations Mark Cavendish by the way!) so I had a few more goes at it before finally arriving at my final choice below.

Those not quite lucky enough to make the top 5 are:

Anna Calvi - Blackout
Tom Vek - Aroused
Pete and the Pirates - Come to the Bar
Young Knives - Love my Name
Kasabian  - Days are Forgotten
Chapel Club - Surfacing
Arctic Monkeys - Don't Sit Down Cause I've Moved Your Chair
Ghostpoet - Survive It
Justice - Civilization
Friends - I'm his Girl

The top 5 are:

Don't Look At Me (I Don't Like It) - The Lovely Eggs

The Lovely Eggs may not make it onto many end of year lists, but "the sausage roll thumb song" was most played on my iPod, primarily down to my 3-year old daughter adopting it as her song of the year. The song is catchy, fun and quirky - perfect for a little girl to jump around to, but delivered with edgy, punky guitars and colloquial vocals (perfect for an ageing rocker like me). You'll either love it or hate it, why not find out?

Don't look at me (I don't like it) by The Lovely Eggs

Still Life - The Horrors

I loved the last Horrors album, Primary Colours, and was worried that any new material would never live up to their mercury prize nominated 2009 release. When Still Life was aired this year, I knew that I shouldn't have worried. A lot of press likened the single's sound to Simple Minds, which in my opinion wasn't a bad thing. From the backwards, swirling opening to the anthemic chorus, this track is a classic.

The Horrors - Still life (BBC session) by mysteryfallsdown

Everything Goes My Way - Metronomy

Metronomy have already scooped my 'best live act' award this year, but their set at the Leadmill in Sheffield didn't include this track. This, I'm guessing, is because the track would not be the same without the guest vocals of Veronica Falls frontwoman Roxane Clifford. There are many great songs on the English Riviera, but Roxanne's vocals bring another layer to the already complex sound.

Metronomy - Everything Goes My Way by dustblaze

Is and Is and Is - White Denim

White Denim are on their fourth album apparently, but this song was my first taste of them. When I heard it on the radio, with it's prog-rock arrangement and powerful riffs, I just had to hear the rest of the album, and it didn't disappoint. If you like things like Wolfmother and, well, I can't think of anyone else, then you'll like this.

And the winner is...

Video Games - Lana del Rey

In a year when Adele made the album that adorns every middle-class coffee table up and down the country and female vocalists became commonplace in the alternative and indie charts, this track stood out above them all. Should it worry me that Lana del Rey (not her real name) is not the "resident of a New Jersey trailer park recently emerged from smalltown USA" that her record company blog stated, but the daughter of an internet millionaire? Probably, but the song sounds great.

Lana Del Rey - Video Games by The Vinyl District

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Merry Merry Christmas!

This is a pre-recorded post, so please don't get in touch as I'm not here.

So it's Christmas day, and I'm guessing that by now you're sick to your back teeth with The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl, The Waitresses and Jona Lewie, so here's one of my favourite 'alternative' Christmas songs, kudos to Billy2Tails for introducing me to this great track.

Merry Christmas and a music-filled New Year to all of our listeners!

Space Christmas by Shonen Knife

Thursday, 22 December 2011

A quick playlist for the holidays

In order for me to attempt to get some use out of my (increasingly) neglected iPod, I tend to put short playlists together of tracks that I'm currently listening to, so that I can turn the radio off on the way to work and enjoy some cool tunes without the banal chat you tend to get in the morning. My commute is less than an hour, so between 10 and 20 tracks does it perfectly.

So that I can keep up my promise of at least one post per week, I've decided to post this playlist to keep your appetites whetted before I share with you best single and best album of 2011 (due to be posted between Christmas and New Year).

Anyway, this is the playlist that will be on repeat when Mrs Schönberg and I take the Schönberinos down to see Jal and Co for Christmas. It is made up in the main of tracks introduced to me by the great man himself.

Let me (and Jal) know if any take your fancy. Enjoy!

Blue Cassette - Friendly Fires
True Romance - Citizens!
Think Tank - Coastal Cities
The Dark - Peace
Origins - Tennis
Death by Diamonds and Pearls - Band of Skulls
Lonely Boy - Black Keys
Raw Meat - Black Lips (with thanks to Fuck Yeah! Go Team!)

(I Keep Thinking About) A New Thing by Field Music
If you hurry, you can download this fantastic track for free from the band's website here.

The Maccabees - Pelican (Official Audio) by leonardalbert

Friday, 16 December 2011

Schönbys 2011 - Best new artist

The Schönbys are fictional, made-up awards for me to let you know what I've enjoyed listening to during 2011. Winners and nominations are drawn from music I have seen, heard or bought during the preceding 12 months.

The next award is for best new artist, but what is a 'new artist'? I can't profess to ever being there at the beginning of any band, so my definition of 'new' is a band, possibly unsigned but not essential, who have released their first official recording in 2011. As I said before, crystal ball gazing is not one of my strong points so the list of new acts that I've happened to spend money on this year will be small. But, lets have a look anyway.

Hmmm, Chapel Club, Vaccines, Yuck, etc, all had debut albums this year but all had releases in 2010 so they don't count. Jonny released their debut album in 2011, which was a welcome interlude from the serious, heavy guitar based music I was listening to early on in the year, but I can't possibly call Norman Blake and Euros Childs 'newcomers' so it really leaves the award as a one horse race.

It's such a pity that This Many Boyfriends released 'Getting a life with...' in 2010, as otherwise they may have been a contender for the new artist award. Sounding like a poppy version of the Wedding Present, they sing songs of love and relationships in an infectious indie/punk style.  Their 2011 debut single release 'Young Lovers Go Pop' was likened to the Cribs by Steve Lamacq, and hailed as an indie anthem by others. Tragedy struck the band late in the year with the sudden passing of guitarist Peter Sykes, but I'm glad that they are honouring his memory by continuing as a band and I expect to hear a lot more from them in 2012.

Young Lovers Go Pop! by This Many Boyfriends

So it seems that the only artist that I have had some interaction with this year that can truely be called a new artist is Fear of Men. I paid to see them in Leeds this year and was pleasantly surprised by their sound. I would liken them to The Smiths fronted by Sonya Madan (from Echobelly), or maybe The Sundays at a push. Their cover art and demo names are also reminiscent of Morrissey and The Smiths, tipping a hat to their obvious literary background. Oh, and the guitarist wears nice t-shirts. So congratulations, Fear of Men, hope to see some fantastic releases in 2012.

Ritual Confession by FEAROFMEN

There were other notable new artists this year (kudos to Cults, Fiction and I Break Horses), unfortunately my enjoyment of these bands was through the medium of radio only.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

All I want for Christmas...

I've made my first iTunes purchase with my recently-redeemed voucher that I told you about earlier this month. I made my purchase after dreaming about the song last night. I say dream, what I mean is it was the song going round my head at 3am whilst sat up listening to my young boy babbling to himself.

Lonely Boy is the first single from the seventh album released by The Black Keys earlier this month. I would have bought the whole album, but you can't go doing rash things like that this close to Christmas, can you? If you've never heard The Black Keys then seven albums is a bit daunting to wade through, so I would have a listen to their latest stuff and, if you like, check out their 2004 album 'Rubber Factory' to get a good synopsis.

Anyway, I'm off to give my earworm a spin...

The Black Keys - Lonely Boy by MMMusic

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Schönbys 2011 - Best International Act

The Schönbys are fictional, made-up awards for me to let you know what I've enjoyed listening to during 2011. Winners and nominations are drawn from music I have seen, heard or bought during the preceding 12 months.

The second award is Best International Act. Here's the measily list I had to choose from; gigs from Band of Horses, Warpaint, Phosphorescent and Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, albums from White Denim, The Strokes, Foo Fighters and Airborne Toxic Event, singles from Beastie Boys and Friends.

I must admit that I've been fairly non-plussed by the overseas showing this year, especially as looking at the list above, they're all from the good ole U S of A. However, I have been mightily impressed with The White Denim album from this year (D) which may possibly get a mention in another award category, but the biggest success from the United States this year has got to be the re-awakening of The Strokes.

Angles has got to be one of the best returns from hibernation ever. Apparently, the band recorded the album in 2009, but didn't get round to releasing it until 2011 after disagreements over the album's readiness. Amazingly, until the release of the album and the subsequent tour, it had been 5 years since the band had taken to the stage together. Anyway the album, for me, is classic Strokes.

The Strokes - Machu Picchu by UKPlaylist

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Schönbys 2011 - Best Live Act

The Schönbys are fictional, made-up awards for me to let you know what I've enjoyed listening to during 2011. Winners and nominations are drawn from music I have seen, heard or bought during the preceding 12 months.

The first award is Best Live Act. Here's the list I had to choose from; Goldheart Assembly, Mojave 3, Band of Horses, Oxo Foxo, Laura J Martin, Jonny, Warpaint, Fiction, Metronomy, Yuck, Phosphorescent, Ash, Los Campesinos!, Futureheads, Dananananackroyd, Standard Fare, This Many Boyfriends, Fear of Men, Dutch Uncles, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, Ringo Deathstarr and Outfit.

Notable commendations go to:

Band of Horses - Leeds O2 Academy (Town and Country Club)
If there was a sub-award for 'live act that made me shed a little tear' it would have to be Band of Horses. The gig was everything that you would expect from BoH; tight playing and fantastic harmonies, and a bit of humour thrown in for good measure (the "de jour of the day" cover of a Neil Young classic was particularly noteworthy), but the crowning glory was the acoustic rendition of 'Evening Kitchen' played through just one microphone - simply awe-inspiring.

Evening Kitchen by bandofhorses

Laura J Martin - Sheffield Harley
I wasn't expecting to see Laura J Martin. There was no talk of support for Norman Blake and Euros Childs (Jonny) in this small Sheffield venue, and after the fire alarm had gone off a few times before any band came on I was fully expecting any support to be swiftly curtailed. What happened, however, was that the small crowd were treated to not only Oxo Foxo (local looping songstress) but also Laura. I had no idea what to expect, but her command of looping machine, flute, mandolin, and other objects was attention grabbing and very entertaining.

Spy by Laura J Martin

Phosphorescent - Leeds Brudenell Social Club
The venue is small, the band is many. Phosphorescent took to the stage and looked like the video to The Cure's Love Cats - elbows everywhere and moustacheoed axemen ducking and weaving their way out of getting a base guitar enema. The band played for what seemed like all night, the room getting sweatier and sweatier, but each blues/rock number played with feeling and gusto. Even a few issues with feedback on the microphones (they were on top of each other after all) didn't dampen the enthusiasm.

Phosphorescent - The Mermaid Parade by createspark

But the winner is:

Metronomy - Sheffield Leadmill
What can be said about Metronomy that has not already been said? I remember posting on Facebook that 'Metronomy rocked' after this gig. Not the words you would relate to the band, but they were extremely watchable, had excellent timing, and rocked in a sense that is difficult to explain. The best thing is, if you haven't already, is to go see them and make up your mind.

Metronomy - We Broke Free by FranklinP

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Next year's thing?

So, the BBC's sounds of 2012 list was released yesterday. I don't understand these lists - they may as well call it the "here's some artists that we know will be releasing material in 2012" list. Conveniently all genres are covered and everyone's happy because there's someone on there that they can root for. Looking at this year's list (naturally) there's not a great deal I know much about. Friends (who I blogged about a few days ago) have made the list, and there's also Dry the River who I've heard of in passing, but the big name in indie guitar band circles is Spector. I became aware of these guys because I heard (incorrectly) that they were from Sheffield - I looked them up and found that they're actually from London. I walked past the stage that they were playing on at the recent Constellations festival in Leeds (on my way to seeing Marc Riley in the queue for a pasty) but didn't really take them in. Anyway, as they've made the list, I'm sure that means that there will be enough record company clout behind them to make sure that we hear more from them. If you don't know of their work, they are described as East London's answer to The Strokes (by the BBC), and this is what they sound like...

Spector - Grey Shirt and Tie by Luv Luv Luv

Monday, 5 December 2011

The Schönbys 2011

If you hadn't noticed, it's December. The Christmas decorations in our shopping malls are already covered in dust, un-easy silences are developing in offices up and down the country after the annual party, and bloggers and journalists alike begin to think about their end of year lists.

I've seen and heard quite a bit of music in 2011 (I set new year's resolutions to make sure I did!) and therefore would like to impart to you the music that has tickled my fancy over the last 12 months, and in order to do that I've devised the Schönbys - a bit like the Grammys but with better music.
I've decided on the following awards; best band, best single, best album, best live act, best new-comer and best international artist. I don't know whether I've got something that qualifies for all these yet, nevermind a winner, but let's have a go anyway!

First up will be best live act. Keep checking the blog for the nominations and winner, but to whet your appetite here's a track from what would have been my 2010 album of the year.

The National - Bloodbuzz Ohio by clubthemammoth

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Every little helps

Earlier this month I spent 90 minutes of my life trying to access (and subsequently crashing) the Tesco Clubcard website. Why? Well, they had a deal where £12.50 of your hard-earned points could get you a £25 iTunes voucher. I was so excited I bought two, looks like lots of other people had the same idea because the might of the Tesco website was brought to it's knees under the rush to get one of the 25,000 vouchers on offer.

I don't generally buy electronic music, I rather opt to buy the physical entity that is a CD and then rip the CD to my laptop - this deserves to be the subject of a blog all of it's own, don't you think johnjsills? One thing that does annoy me though is when a track is played on the radio and I think "Wow, I want to own that" and low-and-behold, it's not available for another month or so. This could be the reason why "some people" borrow tracks from the internet, and when they become available (i.e. when the CD comes out) then "they" buy that and "their" conscience is clear.

There are some tracks, however, that cry out to be owned as soon as possible - this is where I'm hoping my fifty quids worth of iTunes credit will come in. I'm sure my purchases may well appear on this blog over the coming year.

The last digital track I bought was a few months ago. I'm his girl by Friends was one such track that made me get off my electronic arse and buy it via iTunes - mainly because they'd done a great job in ensuring that "some people" couldn't get hold of it by any other means. I'm drawn in by the desperation of the need for ownership in the lyrics, and the bass is class. Enjoy.

Friends - I'm His Girl by LuckyNumberMusic

Sunday, 27 November 2011

A Manifesto

It's taken me (Schönberg) a while to understand blogs. The ones I read are probably read by thousands of people and they're usually telling me something I didn't know. I kinda feel that normally I don't have anything to say that would be useful or interesting to others, so it puts me off posting. Anyway, I now realise that you don't need thousands of followers, if you're getting through to just a few people then the whole experience can be worthwhile.

Each January I set myself some musical objectives for the coming year, some people may call them resolutions. Last year it was to go to more gigs and buy more albums. This year I want to set an objective that covers both my love of music but also satisfies another objective on embracing social networking. I want to share with the followers of this blog some of my favourite music, mainstream or otherwise.

So here's my pledge to you (yes, YOU. You singular. You, the person reading this). I pledge to post on this blog at least once per week during 2012, starting from next week. Sometimes it might be something really ground-breaking, sometimes it might be something I liked on the radio, sometimes it might simply be my earworm. So, if you're reading this and you want to support me, then why not leave a message to show that there's someone out there listening?

Music bloggers of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your credibility.

The Smiths - Shoplifters Of The World Unite by EmergencyBroadcastSongs

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Alexander - Million Years

A Million Years from Alexander

Alexander, he of Edward Sharpe fame has just released his own album and the stand out track for me is A Million Years plus the video is pretty good too. If you enjoyed the Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros album then check this out. They seem to a have spent a bob or two on the video...

MP3: A Million Years - Alexander

Thank you to his label Vagrant for letting me post this, you can buy the album at iTunes now.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Band of Skulls

With a name like Band of Skulls and a single called The Devil Takes Care of His Own you can already tell where this band are coming from. Heavy rock from the glory days of BRMC or you could even say a UK version of Kings of Leon with PJ Harvey adding extra vocals. This band are taking no prisoners and I'm looking forward to hearing their second album when it is released at the start of next year. Until I can give you more check out the video for the single...

Sunday, 13 November 2011


A while back I mentioned that The Jones were coming back. Well sadly that never materialised by Kris and Kev "Jones" haven't left the industry. They are involved with a bright star who might just go one step further and make it in to our charts. The soul / blues influenced lady named Cocabelle is being co-managed by the former lead singer and guitarist of The Jones as well as them writing for her. I certainly recommend checking our Lion's Den and my apologies go to Kris for not bringing this to your attention sooner.

MP3: Lion's Den - Cocabelle

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Sleater-Kinney esq vocals - I think I know someone who might like that

Artists often find their real calling in the studio and can then move on to a career as a producer but every now and then you hear of a producers finally releasing their own material. It's a weird situation, having slaved away on someone else's material you're finally given a free rein, what do you do? Like a music critic you know your peers will listen closely and may not be too kind.

Doctor Rosen Rosen is one such producer turned artist (admittedly not all that famous) and he's giving away his debut EP. Entitled Girls it has four different female vocalists over four different tracks. I thought I'd bring you "Poison" but let the PR guy describe it:

"The EP definitely leans pop, but features a really cool track from a girl named Meg Myers who's voice is reminiscent of Corin Tucker from Sleater-Kinney,"


Tuesday, 20 September 2011

The Rassle

When I originally posted about The Rassle it was part of a larger post and I'm kinda worried you all missed it. I've been enjoying the tracks off their free EP for a while and if you haven't sat up and taken notice of this band yet then you really should. I won't go over old ground again but what I will point out to you is that they have a new free download available. On first listen it sounds pretty damn good, pretty damn good indeed.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Call the doctor

Call The Doctor have a new EP and not only are they playing Bristol but a whole host of other shows including Pen and Quill in Taunton. Wait there's more, there's even a free download to celebrate the release of their EP.  We've featured them on here a few times so I'll let you read up on them yourselves but in the meantime you can download their EP here. Oh and here's a full list of their shows:


16th - LEEDS - MILO

So get yourself along to your local show and/or buy their new EP.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

The Whip - Live

A while back I had a ridiculous idea, I would like to see each band that featured in my Top 25 most played tracks on iTunes. It can't be that hard can it, after all I have already seen White Lies, Elbow, Arctic Monkeys, Coldplay, The Courteeners,  The Virgins and some of those appear more than once so it surely it's achievable. Looking further down the list there's Red Light Company, not sure how they made it in the top 25 but I've seen them too. Ah wait, there's Queen and Dire Straits, they might be a bit trickier. Maybe I could see the song that's in the Top 25 performed live, would that do? Well either way there was one I ticked off last night, Trash by The Whip which sits high up in the list - quite rightly at number 12. As my friend came all the way over to Bristol to see Two Door Cinema Club with me recently surely I could make the trip to London to see The Whip perform. So with their new album pre-ordered and enjoying the five track sampler you get for pre-ordering I headed to London village.

The crowd was certainly older than TDCC but then again most crowds at cinemas are older than that crowd. So without being self conscious of our ages we enjoyed a band fronted by a George McFly lookalike and moshed our arses off to Trash. Number 12 ticked off.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

We've got some catching up to do

So summer came and went without anyone really noticing and it's time to update you with a few posts. Lets start off with a music festival of a different kind. Catfest was a great event held to celebrate the thirtieth birhtday of Cat, wife of 3WTM's (very) occasional contributor and good friend Dancing Bear. Tickets were distributed, wrist bands worn (it is Dancing Bears arm modelling the wrist band below, he is an actual bear) and tents erected for this event in Wales. The idea was we'd all turn up in her Mum and Dad's garden (they own an awesome B&B), pitch our tents and set up a mini festival, all without Cat's knowledge. Amazingly it worked, she had no idea despite there being 20 cars parked out front when she arrived.

I'm sure you're asking yourself at this point what has it go to do with this blog? Well it was my task to create a playlist for the event so I set about creating a mammoth 9 hour playlist. How do you start putting together a playlist that will last so long? Well of course there has to be rules and you have to hit your target audience. As I didn't know hardly any of the target audience I aimed the playlist at the party girl and, having looked at her CD collection today I was pretty spot on - I was staying over after a trip to see The Whip in London but that's another post, hopefully to come. The poster by the way created by a Taunton graphic designer friend - thanks Paolo.

So on to those rules (more like guidelines as a pirate would say), I tried to cover each year since Cat got in to music and as there would be a strong contingent there I thought we'd go for a Madchester theme at the start, perhaps just before Cat got in to music but nonetheless I thought that was a good start point. I also thought I'd try to avoid having more than one song from any single artist and I thought I'd try to keep it fairly mainstream in an attempt to keep my playlist on the stereo and avoid anyone skipping tracks.

There were a couple of exceptions (and mistakes) of course - 2 x Oasis tracks, a few tracks before the time stated e.g. the song that was number one when she was born (Tainted Love - thanks to Dancing Bear for that), Lovecats by The Cure for obvious reasons etc. I largely achieved what I set out to, a playlist covering the key years of Cat's music life and also tracks that defined those years. Below is the track listing and I could question some of my later choices and for the omission of  Kula Shaker but apart from that it's a cracking playlist. It got a few compliments on the day which was very nice, I'm not sure they realised how geeky I'd been about it.

145 songs, 9:30:17 total time,
Name Time Album Artist
Tainted Love 2:44 The Best of Soft Cell Soft Cell
The Lovecats 3:40 Greatest Hits [UK] The Cure
There She Goes 2:42 The La's The La's
I Am The Resurection 3:46 The Complete Stone Roses The Stone Roses
Unbelievable 3:30 Unbelievable EMF
Groovy Train 4:07 Unbelievable The Farm
Kinky Afro 3:56 The Best Album in the World...Ever! Happy Mondays
Loaded 4:35 Dirty Hits Primal Scream
Smells Like Teen Spirit 5:01 Nevermind Nirvana
Losing My Religion 4:29 Out of Time R.E.M.
Jump Around 3:38 House of Pain House of Pain
Creep 3:56 Pablo Honey Radiohead
Two Princes 4:18 Nicked Songs Off S & N Spin Doctors
Everything About You 4:06 Planet Rock Ugly Kid Joe
Girls & Boys 4:51 Parklife Blur
Staying Out For The Summer 3:13 Homegrown Dodgy
A Girl Like You 3:59 Mixtape Riot Edwyn Collins
Connection 2:21 Elastica Elastica
Basket Case 3:02 International Superhits! Green Day
Saturn 5 3:58 Saturn 5 Inspiral Carpets
Laid 2:38 James: The best Of James
Digsy's Dinner 2:32 Definitely Maybe Oasis
Inside 4:25 The Best Rock Album In The World ... ... Stiltskin
Finetime 3:07 All Change Cast
Turn On, Tune In, Cop Out 4:19 Turn On, Tune In, Cop Out Freakpower
Stupid Girl 4:19 Garbage Garbage
Change 3:41 Like You Do... Best Of The Lightning S... The Lightning Seeds
Blue Monday 6:47 The Best Album in the World...Ever! New Order
Don't Look Back in Anger 4:48 (What's The Story) Morning Glory? Oasis
Broken Stones 3:18 Stanley Road Paul Weller
Common People 5:52 Different Class Pulp
Alright 3:03 10 Supergrass
Buddy Holly 2:39 Weezer Weezer
Lose Control 3:38 1977 Ash
You're Gorgeous 3:42 Ugly Beautiful Babybird
Spaceman 4:02 The Boy With The X-Rays Eyes Babylon Zoo
One To Another 4:30 Tellin' Stories The Charlatans
Breakfast At Tiffany's 4:17 Now: That's What I Call Music, Vol. 35 Deep Blue Something
Novocaine for the Soul 3:09 Beautiful Freak Eels
The Fun Lovin' Criminal 3:13 Bag Of Hits Fun Lovin' Criminals
She Said 4:25 The Sun Is Often Out Longpigs
The Riverboat Song 4:54 Moseley Shoals Ocean Colour Scene
How Bizarre 3:47 OMC
Love Rollacoaster 3:48 Whatever Red Hot Chili Peppers
Place Your Hands 3:39 Glow Reef
Children 4:02 Now: That's What I Call Music, Vol. 34 Robert Miles
Getting Better 4:12 A Maximum High Shed Seven
Female Of The Species (Radio Edit) 3:20 Female Of The Species Space
Something 4 The Weekend 2:53 Songbook Super Furry Animals
Born Slippy 4:20 Best Anthems... Ever! [2000] Disc 1 Underworld
Philosophy 4:37 Ben Folds Five Ben Folds Five
Tubthumping 3:25 Best Anthems... Ever! [2000] Disc 1 Chumbawamba
Save Me 4:37 Fireworks (Singles 1997-2002) Embrace
What A Beautiful Day 4:05 The Best Of The Levellers The Levellers
Wide Open Space 4:31 Attack of the Grey Lantern Mansun
Nancy Boy 3:20 Once More With Feeling -Singles 199... Placebo
Firestarter 4:40 Fat Of The Land Prodigy
Smile 3:45 It Doesn't Matter Anymore Supernaturals
Bitter Sweet Symphony 5:59 Urban Hymns The Verve
Sexy Boy 4:59 Moon Safari [US/UK] Air
The Boy With The Arab Strap 5:14 The Boy With The Arab Strap Belle & Sebastian
If... 5:08 'The Singles' The Bluetones
My Favourite Game 3:39 Gran Turismo The Cardigans
Mulder And Scully 4:12 International velvet Catatonia
The Rockafella Skank 6:54 You've Come A Long Way Baby Fatboy Slim
Only The Strongest Will Survive (Radio... 4:31 Only the Strongest Will Survive [Import... hurricane #1
Corpses In Their Mouths 4:12 The Greatest Ian Brown
Pretty Fly (For A White Guy) 3:09 Greatest Hits The Offspring
Let Me Entertain You 4:21 The Ego Has Landed Robbie Williams
It's like That 4:10 Connected [UK] Disc 1 Run DMC Vs Jason Nevins
Red Alert 3:37 The Singles Basement Jaxx
The Bad Touch 4:21 Hooray For Boobies The Bloodhound Gang
Hey Boy Hey Girl 4:51 Singles 93-03 The Chemical Brothers
National Express 5:06 A Secret Histroy -The Best of the Divin... The Divine Comedy
Muscle Museum 4:23 Showbiz Muse
Beautiful Ones 3:51 Coming Up Suede
Dancing In The Moonlight 3:55 Onka's Big Monka Toploader
All The Small Things 2:51 Greatest Hits Blink 182
Yellow 4:29 Parachutes Coldplay
Bohemian Like You 3:32 thirteen tales from urban bohemia The Dandy Warhols
Mr. E's Beautiful Blues 3:59 Road Trip Eels
Breakout 3:21 There Is Nothing Left To Lose Foo Fighters
Buck Rogers 3:13 Echo Park Feeder
Clint Eastwood (Mix) 3:40 Now, That's What I Call Music! Vol. 48 ... Gorillaz
Have A Nice Day 3:25 Just Enough Education to Perform Stereophonics
Hard to Explain 3:48 Is This It? [UK] The Strokes
Sing 3:49 The Invisible Band Travis
Dreaming Of You 2:21 The Coral The Coral
There Goes The Fear 6:54 The Last Broadcast Doves
Main Offender 2:33 Your New Favourite Band The Hives
You Held The World In Your Arms 3:22 The Remote Part Idlewild
Move Your Feet 3:03 Move Your Feet (EP) Junior Senior
Getaway 6:30 The Music The Music
No One Knows 4:39 Songs For The Deaf Queens Of The Stone Age
Danger High Voltage 3:37 Fire [UK] Electric Six
Don't Look Back Into The Sun 3:00 Don't Look Back Into The Sun -EP The Libertines
Hey Ya! [Radio Edit] 3:57 Hey Ya! OutKast
Silence Is Easy 3:40 Silence Is Easy [UK] Starsailor
Big Sur 3:07 So Much For The City The Thrills
Seven Nation Army 3:52 Elephant The White Stripes
Pin 2:00 Fever to Tell Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Take Me Out 3:57 Franz Ferdinand Franz Ferdinand
I Predict A Riot 3:56 I Predict A Riot (EP) Kaiser Chiefs
Club Foot 3:35 Kasabian Kasabian
Everybody's Changing 3:36 Hopes and Fears Keane
Mr Brightside 3:43 Hot Fuss The Killers
Stumble And Fall 3:02 Up All Night Razorlight
Chocolate 3:03 Final Straw Snow Patrol
Wake Up 5:35 Funeral Arcade Fire
I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor 2:54 Whatever People Say I Am, That's Wh... Arctic Monkeys
An Honest Mistake 3:41 The Bravery The Bravery
Tied Up Too Tight 4:49 Stars Of CCTV Hard-Fi
Gold Digger (feat. Jamie Foxx) 3:28 Late Registration Kanye West
She Moves In Her Own Way 2:49 Inside In / Inside Out The Kooks
Monster 3:46 Monster -Single The Automatic
Bang Bang You're Dead 3:33 Waterloo To Anywhere Dirty Pretty Things
Chelsea Dagger 3:37 Costello Music The Fratellis
Crazy (Single Version) 2:58 Crazy Gnarls Barkley
LDN 3:11 Alright, Still Lily Allen
Supermassive Black Hole 3:29 Black Holes & Revelations Muse
Nine2Five 3:08 Nine2Five -Single The Ordinary Boys vs. Lady Sovereign
Young Folks 4:36 Writer's Block Peter Bjorn And John
Steady As She Goes 3:38 Broken Boy Soldiers The Raconteurs
I Don't Feel Like Dancin' 4:11 I Don't Feel Like Dancin' -Single Scissor Sisters
Back To Black 4:01 Back to Black Amy Winehouse
Acceptable In The 80's 5:34 I Created Disco Calvin Harris
Standing In the Way of Control 4:18 Standing In The Way of Control The Gossip
Starz In Their Eyes 4:58 Starz In Their Eyes -Single Just Jack
It's Not Over Yet 3:37 Myths Of The Near Future Klaxons
Valerie 3:39 Version Mark Ronson
Grace Kelly 3:08 Life In Cartoon Motion Mika
Either Way 4:04 Either Way -Single The Twang
One Day Like This 6:34 The Seldom Seen Kid (Uni Recs) Elbow
The Beginning of the Twist 3:35 The Beginning of the Twist -Single The Futureheads
Sex On Fire 3:25 Sex On Fire -Single Kings of Leon
Paper Planes 3:25 Kala M.I.A.
Just For Tonight 4:19 Just For Tonight -Single One Night Only
Greatest Day 4:01 Greatest Day -Single Take That
Sweet Disposition 3:56 Sweet Disposition The Temper Trap
Dog Days Are Over 4:13 Lungs Florence & The Machine
The Cave 3:38 Sigh No More Mumford & Sons
Forget You 3:44 F**k You -EP Cee Lo Green
The Bike Song 4:23 The Bike Song (feat. Kyle Falconer & S... Mark Ronson & The Business Intl.
She Said 3:32 The Defamation Of Strickland Banks Plan B
Rolling In The Deep 3:48 Rolling In The Deep Adele

I hope some people arrived at this site looking to download all these tracks - we've all been there...

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Strings and things

So yesterday I booked tickets to go and see James play with a full orchestra and choir, I am immensely excited. I love bands getting involved with orchestras and adding strings just makes a track sound so much bigger. The band are going to do a lot of their back catalogue and maybe even some covers. The tickets go on general release tomorrow (Friday 1st July). Now I've had a search for an example of James playing with an orchestra (they did a charity gig before) but the recordings were pretty poor.

Instead below is an orchestral piece with choir used in Doctor Who that is fantastic, it's the main theme from the most recent series that have Matt Smith playing the Doctor. This is just posted on YouTube but I recommend getting the original version (off iTunes) and playing it LOUD - not on laptop speakers...

Monday, 27 June 2011

The New Enemy

Town, that's the name of the band, try Googling it. It's bloody hard to find them. I heard them on Zane Lowe's show the other day as Huw Stephens stood in. It was the "Next Hype" track and I can understand why. They fit very much in to the mould of lads band. They sound very much like The Enemy and while that's not necessarily a bad thing I wait to see what more they've got in the locker.

What they certainly do have in their locker is an awesome T-Shirt / EP deal. £8 for a pretty hot looking t-shirt AND a CD. A good way to draw your fans in if you ask me. Check out their single, Teenage Sky below.

Town - Teenage Sky by ollierussian

Friday, 24 June 2011

Free Clap Your Hands And Say Yeah track

I never really got in to Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah, their first album went down a storm with the critics, the second one not so much. This is a new track from them and it's got me tapping my foot. You can download it using this handy widget below, I'm a big fan of the widget, I get to give away a free track, you get a free track and they get to keep in touch. As Del Boy would say "everyone's a winner, petit dejeuner".

CYHASY release their new album, Hysterical, on the 12th September and supporting it with a European and States tour, they have three dates in UK, London, Sheffield and End of the Road Festival in Dorset.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Now For Something Completely Different

We don't normally feature hip hop on this blog, not because I don't like it but because I don't know what I'm talking about when I get anywhere near that genre. What I do know is that I really like e-dubble. I came across his Freestyle Friday tracks a while back and a few of the tracks have been on heavy rotation on my iPhone. Check out Let Me Ohh, Hampden Parks and Paradise City for starters (use the Soundcloud scroll bar to see them all). This guy is really talented how come I've only heard about him recently? Anyway you can download them all and there's more on his Soundcloud page.

e-dubble's Freestyle Friday by edubble

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Cosmo Jarvis - Sure As Hell Not Jesus

Cosmo Jarvis is man with a sense of humour that certainly makes me smile. I mentioned yesterday his great track Gay Pirates, a song about two men's love on a pirate ship, and there captain who's not too happy about the situation. His latest song, Sure As Hell Not Jesus has a great video (above) which shows a priest who is not behaving himself with his choir boys and needs to be helped out by the big boss man, no not Jesus - The Pope. It's a great video and well worth your time watching.

I'm not sure where Cosmo gets his inspiration from but I read that he's straight and I'm guessing he's not in to kiddy fiddling...

Monday, 20 June 2011

The Most Fun Since...

The track Are You Ready? by Fatty Gets A Stylist is the most upbeat and fun track I've heard since Schonberg introduced me to Cosmo Javis' great track Gay Pirates. It has the quirky nature of a track from Stranger Than Fiction's soundtrack and with a name like Fatty Gets A Stylist you can't help but be drawn in to listening to them. The band are made up of two Australians and an Englishman and they are based in London. They have just released their album and lots of there's more to come from the styled fatties.

Thanks to Kick In The Peanuts for bringing this track to my attention. You can download the track from there.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

City & Colour - Fragile Bird

City & Colour is Dallas Green's baby (Dallas is a city, green is a colour, glad someone pointed that out on YouTube). Fragile Bird, the single off his third album Little Hell reminds me of something Eels may have come up with. It has an upbeat instrumental with dark voices and a dark theme over the top. The video shows what I can make out to be a whore house and the lyrics talk of her making "it through the night".

You can download the single here: and the album came out at the start of the month. Album cover does look like the rug in my lounge though...

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

The Return of Big Gun Number 4 - The Kooks

Last night Zane Lowe played The Kooks new track, three years on from their last (second) album Konk. The track sounds very like Supergrass despite being produced by Belle and Sebastian and Air producer Tony Hoffer. The track won't actually appear on their new album Junk Of The Heart but you can download it for free by signing up to their mailing list.

Monday, 13 June 2011

The Charlatans - One To Another done in another way

Talk about messing with my head. This is The Charlatans performing One To Another like I've never seen/heard it before. Can it be described as acoustic with an electric guitar and drums? I don't think so but their PR person thinks it is. Either way it certainly messes with your head when you know the words, you know the band but the sound is something different altogether.

Sorry about the video posts lately but it's an easy way to legally share music with you that I don't have permission for download.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

The Big Guns Are Back

We don't hate the mainstream here, we just try to push artists that aren't getting the recognition they deserve. So it's with interest we note that a lot of established bands are back with new singles. Coldplay, Hard-Fi and The Kaiser Cheifs let their latest singles loose and it's interesting to see how the bands are getting on.

Coldplay first:

Nothing spectacular but a solid effort from the band, they certainly haven't strayed far. The track is available for immediate download, something they missed a trick with Viva La Vida. It was such a strong track that it was one of those "got to have it now" legal or not tracks. This certainly doesn't hit me with the same feeling.

So on to Kaiser Cheifs:

This isn't grabbing me yet but I'm hoping it's going to grow on me. To be honest it took a lot of effort to stop myself from listening to the Cults album on stream and to listen to it again. They are doing something "interesting" with their album. You can choose the play order of your album and not only that you can choose the tracks from a list of 20 and even choose the cover. I have to say I like someone to point me in the right direction as to which of the tracks are better but on a visit to their site I can see that they do exactly that. Members of the band, the media and "normos" have put together their albums and you can choose who to back.

Last of all are Hard-Fi:

This one didn't grab me to start off with but has grown on me, it reminds me of Reverend and the Makers' Silence Is Talking for some reason. It doesn't sound like it but has the same kind of vibe.

So comments please, what do people like? Dislike? Should they have all given up ages ago or is it great to have them back?

Thursday, 9 June 2011


I think I may have found a new band I really like. Sadly I'm a bit behind the curve but that's no bad thing. It just means I can get their album a lot sooner than if I'd found them when they were underground.

Cults sound perfect for 6Music, female vocals, ever so slightly slower than you'd get on commercial radio and with hell of a lot more class. Even more exciting is that they are coming to the UK, they're playing Birmingham, Cambridge, Aberdeen, Glasgow and The Bowery in Sheffield (August 22nd). Check them out and see what you think.

Cults - You Know What I Mean by cultscultscults

You can stream the debut album here.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Sheffield Music Compilation

Sounds of the City is a compilation put together to raise money for Cash for Kids and features local bands from the city including Alvarez Kings who have featured on 3WTM in the past. You can listen to the tracks below (tracks 1-10 are from the Birmingham edition, 11+ are the Sheffield tracks).

Latest tracks by Sounds Of The City

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

You may have missed it, I certainly forgot

On the 23rd it was What's Wrong With The Mainstream's birthday, sorry for not marking it by a big post but I thought I'd make up for it by telling you what I've been listening to recently. Hopefully you've all stuck with me on the New Years Resolution of buying one album a month or more accurately 12 albums over the year. So far I've bought White Lies, Vampire Weekend, Two Door Cinema Club, Elbow, Frankie and the Heartstrings, My Chemical Romance, and recent additions Noah and the Whale, and The Airborne Toxic Event. Now admittedly two of the albums are from last year but I'm still on track, the first time I've ever stuck at a NYR for more than a few weeks.

I'm still enjoying Frankie, TDCC a lot and the others have certainly had heavy rotation on my iPhone. If you've not heard much of Noah and the Whale's new album I think it's worth checking out. It's got a sound very similar to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, certainly up there with some of his best work. You can watch the best song off the album here, that's the song that convinced me to buy the album and you can download album track Give It All Back here.

In other news Magic and Fur have released their debut album, they're a band we've featured before and you can stream or download their album from their bandcamp site. You can download the title track below:

Remember Iglu and Hartly? Well Sam and Simon from the band have set up Youngblood Hawke, a synth-pop band that I'd expect to find on Neon Gold's web site. They're giving away a free EP, just paste this in to your browser

Friday, 15 April 2011

Frankie and the Heartstrings - Hunger album review

Frankie has a talent for writing, whether that's in his email newsletters or music on an album Frankie has a way with words. A way of drawing you in, he writes in a tone that speaks to you. Yes you. I've been really enjoying the album since it dropped through my letterbox and it's already got memories linked to it. In fact I know in years to come when I listen to it I will be reminded of this time and what I was doing now. It will remind me of cycling to work, driving up and down the motorway in the sun and sat in a desk on my own at work listening to album after album. I've listened to some other albums a lot during this period of time, Two Door Cinema Club's (TDCC) being one of them but there's definitely something special about this album.

The album has quite a lot of anthemic elements, sing along sections backed up by catchy riffs and beats taken straight out of the 80s and 90s. In fact the intro to Ungrateful sounds so familiar I wish someone would put me out of my misery and tell me what it sounds like please. Anyway it makes an album that I can listen to and then put on again straight away. I guess that's the pop nature of the album but there is more depth than that suggests. I have already touched upon the lyrical skills of Frankie but Fragile really does sound like a soul classic, admittedly it sounds like it's been covered by Frankie (so much so I had to check they'd written it). Unlike quite a lot of their songs it starts slowly and then builds up. It's the kind of song that should someone like Simon Cowell select it for X-Factor and open it up to a wider audience it could be a massive hit, like he did with Biffy Clyro I guess.

I was asked the other day by Schonberg which album was my favourite so far this year and I would say three so far could compete for it. TDCC, The Vaccines and Frankie & the Heartstrings. As TDCC was released last year I guess that makes just two. If you don't own them yet I think you need to get down your local independent record shop, don't you? (I won't judge you if you go to a supermarket but I don't think you'll find it there).

Frankie & The Heartstrings - Fragile by 3WTM

Could be a cover of a soul classic?

Frankie & The Heartstrings - Ungrateful by 3WTM

Please tell me what 80s song the start sounds like.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Ooh you cheeky little monkey

Arctic Monkeys appear to be back and it's sounding good. New direction me thinks and heading in the right direction.

Their new album, Suck It and See will be out on 6th June.

Oh and Elbow's new album arrived on my doorstep this week so that's what I'm listening to at the moment if you're interested...

Saturday, 26 February 2011

The Vaccines - Not Long Now

It's not long now until the debut album is out from The Vaccines. You may remember me posting If You Wanna back in August, well that's now their new single but you can download Wrecking Bar (ra ra ra) and Blow It Up and then get across to and pre-order their album for £6.99.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Frankie and the Heartstrings - Debut Album

So I'm sure you're all hungry for more music and Frankie and the Heartstrings can satisfy that hunger as their debut album is out this week. It means I've ordered another album as part of my New Year Resolution. As it's only £4.99 from it was a pretty easy decision to make.

If you need more convincing you can stream Ungrateful below oh and if you hadn't worked it out yet, the debut album is called Hunger.

Ungrateful by Frankie and the Heartstrongs
Supplied by radarmaker

I'm the only person sticking to their New Year Resolution, I wonder how Dancing Bear is getting on with his? Bet there's not a lot of whisky drinking going on in Cuba...

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Where Are They Now

First of all let me say that I've been meaning to write this post for months, I've wanted to do a "where are they now" style post as I find them great to read on other people's blogs. So what I've decided to do is look back at one of earliest posts entitled If I Didn't Have The Internet I Wouldn't Be In To Them (and they know so...) and go through the bands on there to see what they're up to now.

The Whip
After hearing their fantastic track Trash, which has now had 500k listens on MySpace, I bought the album. A fantastic album it is too and not just a one hit wonder coffee coaster that I expected. Since then the track has been used in a Coors Light advert and in the background on a lot of TV programmes. According to their Twitter feed they have just finished the new album but at the moment there doesn't seem to be any new material to listen to.

The Sunshine Underground
Since the post they have released a second album which was alright, I was listening to it the other day and while it's no masterpiece it's a solid second album. On the band's blog they say they've already got going with some new material and promise there will be "no 4 year gap" this time. I hope so. I'm still hoping to catch them live at some point.

The Dead 60's
The Dead 60s are sadly no more. Their second album "Time To Take Sides" was unreleased in the UK. I still find this a bit bizarre as I picked it up a few copies in Fop for £1 each back in '08 or '09. This suggests to me that they split on the eve of its release. Either the record company thought it was going to flop or the band couldn't face touring to promote it. Either way it's a shame as the albums not too bad, with lead single Stand Up a particular favourite of mine. You can read their farewell letter on their MySpace and according to Wikipedia the band, minus lead singer Matt MacManamon, are in a new female fronted band The Venus Fury.

Tiny Dancers
Quite poppy and actually a really good album. Quite a disappointment when I found out they'd split. I mentioned it on this blog at the time. Where they promised not to be the "Joey" to Tiny Dancers' "Friends". Well as Matt Le Blanc seems to have hit another good series with Episodes you've certainly achieved that. I can't find any information about them, if you're out there guys, get in touch.

The National
The National have just had their best year ever I'm guessing as their 5th album High Velvet was a great success, critically anyway. It was voted number 8 in Q Magazine's end of year best of album list (I've still not bought the magazine since they sold out and had an interview with George Galloway in it). In my original post had the excellent song Fake Empire in it and yet the album it was taken from, Boxer, disappointed me. High Velvet is better but still not quite my cup of tea. They are touring mainland Europe in 2011 along with some more far flung places such as Japan and the American continent.

Team9 AKA Neil Mason has been "destroying shit since 1999" and spends most of his time now as The Found Sound Orchestra and he has a project on his hands. He is going to make a new track each week and make it available for download. That's some feat and in his own words quality control will take a hit at times but he quite rightfully points out that at the end of the year he should have enough quality for an album. It's still very much down the lines of mashing up songs and putting them together just like the awesome Money Song I posted originally.

One of the reasons I am writing this post is because of a Ghosts' track. The World Is Outside describes how the last Monday in January is apparently the worst day of the year. Usually that's because it's cold, dark and another whole week until pay day. Of course that's not the case this year as it's the last day of the month but you get the idea. Anyway, Ghosts debut album which the above song is the title track, was released in 2007 and was a good piano / indie pop effort. They were even in the BBC's sound of 2007 list. I seem to remember their single was experimented with as downloads had just come in. The physical copy and digital version were released weeks apart and thus the band didn't get very high in the charts. In April '08 the band went to Sweden to record a new album but it was never released.

The Virgins
What a song Rich Girls was. In fact I crave for the days where I can come across another Rich Girls or another Trash by The Whip come to that. According to Wikipedia the band are in the process of writing their second album but a bit more digging suggests they are now more and some of the "casualties from the now defunct band" have formed The Rassle and you can download their EP for free from their web site. I recommend you get over there quick smart and download. It's pretty catchy stuff, try to ignore how much Wild Ones sounds like I Fought The Law.

British India
I'm sure when I first came across this band I read that they were "Australia's Arctic Monkeys". Looking back I can see the comparison to Arctic Monkeys' first album but it's not how I would refer to them. They're a proper rock band and they've certainly been busy since I got their album back in '08. Guillotine was released in '07 and they have released two albums since then. Unlike a lot of rock bands they haven't turned down the volume which is refreshing. British India were even in the UK at the end of last year.

Los Campesinos!
You! Me! Dancing! was a great track, you remember it don't you? Well I start tapping my feet just thinking of the track. Los Campesinos! are still around and producing music. Their web site has a real "get in touch/involved vibe" where you can download tracks, email the band and read their blog which they run like 'normal' people. Their tracks remind me of Switches.

The Aliens
The Aliens were born out of Beta Band and released two albums but it appears that mental illness problems that plagued the band (and Beta Band) took their toll. There doesn't appear to be any trace of them yet Steve Mason their band mate from Beta Band has released new solo material.

Well I shouldn't really need to tell you what they are up to now following my post the other week but in case you can't be arsed to read it, they've got a new album out soon.

Pete & The Pirates
I saw them live at the floating gig venue that is Thekla in Bristol a few years back and they looked young, played pop and entertained. Now they appear to have grown up and perhaps have put their pop days behind them. Download new track Winter 1 for free and their new album is due out in May.

The Paper Cranes
The Paper Cranes promised much at the start with the excellent I'll Love You Until My Veins Explode but the Canadians have never really hit those heights again sadly. They have released two albums, the last of which was Halcyon Days out in 2009.

White Lies
White Lies are stars and have the talent to back it up. Their debut album To Lose My Life was fantastic from start to finish, tracks Death and Unfinished Business are still in my top 10 played songs on iTunes and I could still listen to them twice a day. Ritual their recently released second album is still to win me over but I'm certainly willing to give this band a few more listens.

What's Goyte been up to?
"Over the last year and a half I've been helping the lovely Tash Parker with the recording of her debut album Waking Up. I sang on some songs, played drums and percussion and produced a couple of songs. Tash is releasing the record independently on her own label Little Buildings and I reckon it's an absolute gem"

The Electric Soft Parade
I really enjoyed their debut album back in 2002, perhaps even the album of the year for me but sadly they've never managed to match it. They've released two albums since plus as part of the band Brakes they've released three studio albums. I bought Brakes' first album but never got in to it, Colin Murray claimed that Brakes' second album The Beautific Visions was the best album in 2006. The track I posted in 2008 was taken from their third and most recent album but apparently there might be a new album for 2011 as they appeared on stage in December hinting new material was on its way. So there's No Need To Be Downhearted.

The song I posted, It's Never Been Like That, was the catchy title track taken from their 2006 album. It was followed up in 2009 with Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. Free song 1901 never hit the mark with me but it and the album was well received by critics and it was their most successful album, winning a Grammy, whatever that is. So where are they now? Well they've recorded the soundtrack for Somewhere, a film written and directed by Sofia Coppola, you can catch the trailer here which has their music in it.

Vampire Weekend
At the time I posted the song I don't think Vampire Weekend were very big, now they're two albums in and going strong. They're still making music with an African feel and their album from last year, Contra, is growing on me.

The Courteeners
Their debut album St Jude was fantastic, my album of the year in fact and a real guitar band, rock n roll affair. The album won The Guardian's First Album Award, beating Glasvegas amongst others. The follow up to that album was released two years later in 2010 but didn't reach the same heights despite being called Falcon. Saying that it wasn't far off, it just had the feel of an album that was a little bit rushed, often the case with a second album where the record label is pushing for it's release. They also released an EP at the end of last year containing 5 tracks, two off the album, a cover and two new tracks. This year they've only got two festival style gigs scheduled so far, perhaps they're going to be holed up writing new material. They certainly seem to produce a lot, Falcon came with a special edition 2nd CD with tracks that didn't quite make the album.

The best part of doing this Where Are They Now post? Finding this on Gotye's web site "my current favourite palindrome- Go hang a salami, I'm a lasagna hog" You're a lasagna hog...