Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Christmas Music

Let's start with Frank Hamilton and Lonely This Christmas. Not the most upbeat Christmas song but I did want to mark Christmas with something. Mud who originally recorded this song as a mickey take would probably not approve of its serious nature. You can download this song plus another track here. Merry Christmas everyone.

A Bridge Of Friendship have asked the bands on their roster to put together some covers. Only a Hippopotamus would do...

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Free Download from LIFE - Crawling

I featured LIFE on the blog not too long ago and I was pleased to find this free download in my inbox today. The blurb says it's a nice bridge between their last single and their next. Listen to / grab the download above or check out their video below.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

NONONO - Pumping Blood

Do you remember in the past when you couldn't have a song as soon as you heard it. Where you had to hunt down a song you'd heard. You'd start with how it sounded, hope someone knew what you were on about and hopefully put a name to the song (I remember going in to HMV and signing a song to the woman behind the counter, unsurprisingly she didn't recognise one of the best selling songs that year). Well I knew I'd heard a song I liked, I'd even Shazamed the song but then destroyed my phone by throwing it in a pint of squash. GET ON WITH IT I hear you cry. So you've guessed the song I like is the one above, it's the filler during Final Score on BBC. The official version isn't available on iTunes in the UK, only a remix. How you get the proper version is up to you, all I'm saying is that the thrill is in the chase and I have the proper version.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Bristol Talent

I have a couple of local talents for you, first off is Rosie Southern, accompanied on guitar by Pete Atkinson,
unsurprising in his usual self-deprecation that he isn't named on the track. Not the usual kind of music on this blog but boy can that girl sing.

Second up is George Ezra, a bluesy guy who has a singing voice that is nothing like his speaking voice. Skip to around 2:16 to hear him sing. I think this guy's got a future...

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Ruen Brothers

Now a few people have tipped me off about Ruen Brothers so I thought I'd take a proper look at them. Described by one friend as jumping back a decade to The Libertines I can kind of see what he's saying but I think we're jumping a lot further back than that with these influences. Try jumping back to the Good Morning Vietnam soundtrack and we've got some of the right sounds. Despite some older influences these tracks (Aces and Walk Like A Man) sound fresh and could sit nicely along side a Jake Bugg track. I couldn't find a soundcloud without Bastille in the middle so you'll just have to skip that one...

Sunday, 24 November 2013

The Airborne Toxic Event - New Album

With the wonders of social media I can keep up with the bands I like through Twitter, Facebook and email - anyone remember MySpace, that's had a facelift but I've still not used it recently. Anyway I was surprised to hear that The Airborne Toxic Event had released a new album last month. I'm sure they're not cool to like but I don't care. Their first two albums are great and there's not a track to skip across the two albums. So I have ordered the new one and I hadn't even heard a track off it at the time.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Bands Have Got To Choose

I recently went to see The Sunshine Underground at a gig in Bristol. This was something I couldn't wait for, they hadn't been to Bristol for four years and on that occasion I couldn't make it, so it had been a long wait. I'd previously set myself the task of hearing as many of my top 25 most played tracks live as possible. Number four in that playlist is Commercial Breakdown an absolute corker of a song that I would play time and time again, often as my psych up song before football. You might guess where this is going but they didn't play it. I was gutted. It dragged the whole gig down for me, not left wanting more but left empty and unfulfilled.

Now I understand the bands point of view, this is a track off their first album (they're about to release their third) and they must have played this track hundreds of times, with practising, touring and video takes they must have it heard it so many times they may, understandably want to play something else. The thing is they did play something else, the crowd were treated to quite a lot of new tracks off the new album but this is one of their 'big hits' we're talking about here.

When I mentioned it to +John J Sills who occasionally writes for this blog he said he'd had the same thing at The Killers gig. They played loads of new stuff and then a different version of Mr Brightside. I'm sure there were a lot of fans at that gig paying a premium as they were seeing THE Killers, the band with all the hits. You can't charge an established band ticket price and then play like a new band. I asked another friend who is in a band and he said you've got to tell them so I tweeted them but I've had no response.

When it comes down to it The Sunshine Underground have fallen to the levels of PledgeMusic where the band requires the fans to back them in the production of their album. You've got to give the fans what they want and what they've paid for. I hope the albums comes up with the goods more than the gig did, it's a lot easier to get your set list right...

Thursday, 14 November 2013

George Barnett - Animal Keeper

Most people who discovered George Barnett discovered him through his 8 million view video of 'Get Lucky', his cover of Daft Punk's song of the year. It's a difficult way to be known and hard to follow up but he does appear to have talent, I'm sure you'll agree. Can he progress and keep it coming?

Monday, 11 November 2013

So I'm a bit late to this party...

So I heard this on 6Music (just Radio 2 in a parallel universe if you ask me) and I liked it and I thought if I missed out on this first time around, maybe you did too. Enjoy.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

What More We Are Scientists?

OK I had to show you this video, I recently told you of We Are Scientists EP and believe it or not I actually bought it. What I didn't notice was that there was a sneaky cover in there of Berlin's Take My Breath Away. Knowing that occasional contributor of the blog +Neil Schofield  is a big fan of Top Gun I thought he'd been interested in this big budget remake of the original. I've always liked how W.A.S don't take themselves too seriously. You'll see what I mean when you hit play...

Oh and they're playing Bristol in March if anyone fancies it?

Spring 2014 Tour Dates (UK)
March 6th – Oxford – O2 Academy
March 7th – Cambridge – Junction
March 8th – Leeds – Stylus
March 9th – Manchester – Ritz
March 11th – Newcastle – Academy
March 12th – Glasgow – O2 ABC
March 13 – Nottingham – Rock City
March 15th – Birmingham – Institute
March 16th – Norwich – Waterfront
March 17th – Southampton – University
March 19th – Bristol – Academy
March 20th – London – O2 Shepherds

Monday, 4 November 2013

Vast Robot Armies - Grey Area Living

Vast Robot Armies is the alter ego for Sometimes Why lead singer, turned solo artist Jason Thomson. At times a bit QotSA and a bit Eels like Grey Area Living is a pretty strong single. You can get the album, Goodnight Myopia, from bandcamp on a name your price basis.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Self Defense Family - Not Considered A Flight Risk

An interesting sound, punk I guess, but I couldn't help but letting it spin and spin as it got in my head. Luckily I don't have to pigeon hole them, their label have done this superbly for me "purveyors of misanthropic, rough-around-the-edges indie rock, juxtaposing a no-fucks-given attitude with a clear taste for melody" This US band are having a UK release through Welsh label Palm Reader Records. You can get the 7" from the 11th of this month.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

LIFE - I Wanna Forget

Another UK band with an American sound to their music but I'm certainly not complaining. Sounding not too dissimilar to The Vaccines this is a band going places. They've only been together since January. I Wanna Forget was out on the 21st. In fact I liked them so much I hunted down another track from their web site. You can hear it below. They're doing a session with Daytrotter in November and an EP is expected early next year.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Hunter and the Bear

This London trio remind me of the great folk rockers Of Monsters and Men. The track above is the lead single from their EP Dusty Road which is out on the 28th of this month. I've heard it and it's pretty damn good I suggest you check them out.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Introducing Vlks

When someone says to me "you should check out my friend's band, they're pretty good" I'm inclined to ignore them. Occasional writer for this blog, +John Sills, didn't stop there. The band released another EP and again he told me I should listen to them. Again I didn't bother. Then he tells me a promoter has picked them up and now I'm interested. Why has it taken me so long to listen to this band? John's taste in music is good, his recommendations on this blog in the past have been spot on. It was clearly the whole 'mates band' thing, so I'm sorry John and also Vlks that it's taken me so long to pick up on you. So folks don't let time tick by, check out this band now and see if they're for you. Clutter is taken off their most recent EP, Vlks X.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Cage The Elephant - Melophobia

Since Shake Me Down got in my head I've developed a soft spot for Cage The Elephant and so I was interested to see what their latest album, Melophobia, was like. Come A Little Closer is probably the lead track off the album but it appears to have quite a range to it. I think they're finally coming of age and producing a rounded album. Comments as always welcome...

Friday, 18 October 2013

Music From GTA V

What a great job it must be choosing the music for film soundtracks or even the soundtrack to the latest release on Xbox. I can really imagine this being Schonberg's cup of tea.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

We Are Scientists New Tracks

We Are Scientists have had a bit of a break and, as usually happens after such a break, their music has changed. For me Good Answer isn't that strong but Dumb Luck with its Wolfmother - Joker and the Thief start is a pretty awesome track. They're also touring with a date in Bristol in March but no date for Sheffield and for my friend Jim who got me in to them there isn't a date in New Zealand sadly (yet) although they have got dates in Australia, that's near to NZ isn't it, in the grand scheme of things?

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Blank - The Almighty Rhombus

I wouldn't normally post a track based on its video but this just held my attention right to the end and now I have what originally seemed a weak track running around in my head trying to find a way out. See if the video and then the track grab you in the same way. Oh and best or worst front man ever? Guess he had to be fairly unanimated for the video but really?

Download the track for free.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Glitches - Only Time Will Tell

I was alerted to this band's latest single Only Time Will Tell by a guy at work and we were discussing who they sounded like, colleagues saying U2 but I was more of the opinion they sounded like Starsailor. I guess we're both going from the lead singer but they're not bad people to be compared with. Will they live up to those comparisons I guess Only Time Will... Oh no I didn't just do that did I?

Sunday, 29 September 2013

The Bar Steward Sons of Val Doonican

Crowd-funding is very popular these days. I read recently of two smartphones and a phone-cum-watch thingy that have been developed and built based on pledges of purchases from your average geek on the street. This sort of thing goes on in musical circles too; WWWTM favourites Call the Doctor released their debut long player using a pledge website, and Indie heavyweights The Sunshine Underground are currently doing a similar thing in an attempt to release their third album, so it doesn't come as a surprise that bands are beginning to see a life beyond the traditional record label contract, and going it alone.

Enter The Bar Steward Sons of Val Doonican, a three piece from Barnsley playing hilarious covers of rock, pop, punk and metal favourites, using guitar, ukulele, accordion and banjo. BS/VD (as they will now be referred to for the rest of this post) are the UK's hardest working band, peddling their comedy wares at festivals and country pubs up and down the length of the country. A summer 'tour' to the South West for The Levellers' Beautiful Days festival was embellished by an appearance at the Watchet festival the following week, with nightly Facebook posts asking fans to seek out a pub that could provide a venue for the following day. They managed three weeks in the South West before it was time to get back to their native South Yorkshire.

BS/VD aren't new to crowd funding - their seventh studio album, due for release on Christmas Day 2013 and made possible by pledges from their army of devoted followers, follows hot on the heels of a 7" release of 'Tarn Life' for record store day. You can see the attraction. Not since the Barron Knights has the comedy/music crossover been popular with record companies, so being able to chronicle your material and get it out to your fans on your own terms must be very liberating.

But it's not on vinyl, or CD, or mp3 that BS/VD shine, it's in their live performances. Guaranteed to get the stiffest of crowds up and dancing, their brand of comedy is perfectly suited for that late night festival appearance in the beer tent, which is where we first came face to face with the band. A 'headline' set at one in the morning in the beer tent at Bearded Theory this year was enough for us to seek out their next gig, the following afternoon in another beer tent, and we were fixed. So much so that, instead of just pledging for our copy of the Greatest Hits album, we've pledged that bit extra to have Scott Doonican, frontman of the band, to come and do a ukulele set at a forthcoming party at Schonberg Central. I'll let you know how it goes!

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Sunshine Underground

FINALLY! I have finally managed to buy tickets to go and see The Sunshine Underground. I have wanted to see them ever since I hammered their first album Raise The Alarm. To hear the amazing and excellent tracks Commercial Breakdown and Borders live is just going to be immense. They've got a new track out on Vinyl - I have now idea what that is but it sounds retro and no use to music fans who actually want to listen to music rather than put it on their wall. Luckily you can listen to it on Soundcloud above and if you follow the Soundcloud trail there is a remix version that you can download for nowt.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Frank Hamilton - Summer

Frank Hamilton, he of #OneSongAWeek fame has take one of those said songs, polished it up a bit and added a video ready for a proper single release on 7th October. It certainly polishes up well and with a name like Frank you can't help comparing him to Mr Turner.

It's a nice track, but releasing it in October he really will have to "wish it lasts forever", no matter how good a summer we've had in the UK it's not going to last that long, is it?

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Rumours - Cash Machine

I rarely get chance to trawl through the endless emails that are in What's Wrong With The Mainstream's inbox but this morning I had a listen to a few artists as I wrote some posts for my cycling blog. This artist and track stood out so I thought I'd share it with you.

It's got the right mix of pop, strong female vocals with an upbeat tempo. Maybe a bit of Feist in there? Anyway 'Like' their Facebook page and get the track as a free download. Go on then, what are you waiting for.

Friday, 7 June 2013

White Lies - Getting Even

White Lies new album has just been announced and will be released 12th August this year and they're giving away Getting Even off the album. You can download it on soundcloud. The first proper single from the album will be There Goes Our Love Again which will be out early August.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

I Keep Me Eyes Fixed On The Sun...

Sometimes I don't post as there's nothing new that I'm listening to that I want to post about, sometimes it's just I don't have time (as you probably suspected). At the moment I can't get this song out of my head - and I don't want to! A snowboarding friend of my told me to check out Dual Snowboards, anyone in to snowboards should check them out. They're everything that's good about snowboards and skis rolled in to one. The tricks look awesome and you can run on the snow in them!

Anyway back to the song, Shake Me Down by Cage The Elephant. Listen to this song and you'll be like me, Shazaming it so you can download it straight away. Check it out.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Local Natives Are Back

Remember these guys? How can you not? We've mentioned them a few times in the past. I can still remember coming across Airplanes in my inbox. What a track. Local Natives were one of those bands that made me really grateful I'd set up this blog. Not only did the band contact me but the band, and Taylor in particular were happy to chat by email. Well I don't know how it passed me by but they released their second album, Humingbird last month. So I dug out that old email address and pinged off a couple of questions to see if it still worked. Would they now be big time charlies and ignore my emails? Well Taylor fired back a response:

hey john, sure would be happy to answer those for you. 

How does this album differ from the last? 
It's expanded, both outward and inward. There are the most direct, bare songs we've made but also the most layered and orchestrated. 

How does it feel different from 3?! years ago with the debut album. Any other other exciting info I could pass on about what the band are up to?
We've just embarked upon a horizonless, year long tour. It's been fun to play all these new songs on the road and integrate them with the old. There's a lot more subtlety to our concert now. Played Liverpool last night.  

Check out their upcoming gigs here, they hit Bristol and Sheffield late October if anyone fancies it?

So there you have it, For those who are unaware of this band, they released their debut album first in the UK despite hailing from L.A.. Gorilla Manor was a good debut and it will be great to get my hands on their follow up (now ordered). Check out Airplanes below and scroll down further for a free track off their new album.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Want A Good Valentine Present?

Well if you preorder Cloud Cult's debut 'Love' you can get it way ahead of its released date. Instead of getting it on March 5th you can get it, yes you've guessed it, on Valentine's Day. Not only that but you get tracks to preview before even that date. Surely a must for any fan of the great band.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Strokes: Free Download

Yesterday we brought you The Pigeon Detectives new track and news of an album but who would have thought The Strokes would be back again so soon after their much welcomed return in 2011? One Way Trigger certainly suggests they're not just back to make up the numbers. This shows that they still see The Strokes as a vehicle for progressing their music. We wait with baited breathe for the full length. You can download the track here but be quick, it's only available for a limited time.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Pigeon Detectives: Free Download

It may have passed you by but The Pigeon Detectives' third album came out quite a while back and in fact they're back with their fourth album. I know it's quite unbelievable, it doesn't seem five minutes since their second album came out. To win you back the Detectives are giving away single Animal from their new album just visit their home page to claim yours.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Unreleased Britpop Gem Unearthed

Sometimes when blogging about music you get an urge to share some music straight away with the world, like if it waited until tomorrow it would be too late and it wouldn't be quite the same. Today, is one of those days. While just doing some minor maintenance on the blog I looked at the blogs we link to and something caught my eye from the excellent Sheffield Blog. Posted four weeks ago was "Found:Sheffield's Lost Britpop Album". Ooh intriguing. What could it be. Well it turns out it is from a band called Speedy, a 1990's band who hit us with the guitar based pop anthem that is Boy Wonder. While the band released singles they never got to release their album as shortly after recording the album they were dropped by their label and understandably split up.

I personally discovered Boy Wonder through the excellent compilation CD series Shine, the track appearing on Shine 7 along side Suede, Cast, Gene and fellow Sheffield bands Longpigs and Pulp. Looking back at the tracklisting now it really was a golden age for indie pop / Britpop whatever you want to call it. It was my area and when I really got in to music. Every track on those Shine compilations was gold and for the likes of smaller bands such as My Life Story, Silver Sun and Speedy to make it on to there they had to be at their best. To now discover an album that transports me back to that time that I (and most people) have never heard is just amazing and a real strange feeling.

The album has been brought to the masses by Say It With Garage Flowers and subsequently the excellent Britpop Revival managed to interview the lead singer of Speedy, Philip Watson, who had this to say "I'm flattered that people have somehow found, like and now want to share this album. Also slightly embarrassed. But only slightly. It's alright."  Alright? It's more than alright. It's a golden nugget of Britpop, right here, right now.The weird thing is that somehow the original post was put up three years ago but only now can we hear it. Check it out below.