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Friday, December 28, 2007

Post-Silly Season Recuperation

After the shocking excesses of Christmas, we have a few short days to heal the soul before shit gets ruckus again on the 31st and we wreck ourselves all over again. The current recipe for spiritual convalesence is Au Revoir Simone while the head is still fragile, followed by some Oh No Oh My (sans exclamation marks here as Blogger has a 'thing' about them). These two sets of kids should either keep you interested enough to avoid the pub, or get you happy enough to ignore what you're about to do to yourself. Both seem to go well with a crisp beer in the sun. On a side note, the BW crew would like to thank summer for finally arriving.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Let Jose cure what ails ya

Soothe those post-Daft Punk frayed nerves with Mr. Gonzales.

After ten minutes of standard interview jibber-jabber about half an hour of inspirational stuff with a great Portishead cover at the end.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Human After All

A pic of Daft Punk sans masks taken at the after show for their Melbourne live show. Apparently.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Pour me another gin

If you don't spend your day trawling indie news sites and blogs (and clearly you do since you've managed to find BW) you may not have heard of Lightspeed Champion, but this is a name worth remembering.
Falling off the Lavender Bridge is former-Test Icicles member Devonte Hynes' first album as Lightspeed Champion. For those of you that found the Galaxy of the Lost EP a bit of a disappointment, the album, due to hit shelves late in January '08, is a much more impressive affair.
His music is folksy, quite often upbeat and fun, with quirky incorporation of strings, keys and acoustics on some tracks that reminds me of Dresden Dolls. Hynes' voice can be a bit hit and miss (more hit than miss mind you) but when he gets right, as he does in Dry Lips he gets it very right. The album has a number of highlights, including the epic "Midnight Surprise", the awesomely titled "Everyone I Know is Listening to Crunk" and a studio version of "No Surprise". In fact, I have no doubt this is going to be his signature track, and I'm yet to find someone who doesn't like it. I'm sorry you're all going to have to wait a few weeks to get your ears into this!

Lightspeed Champion - Everyone I Know is Listening to Crunk

If you would like to hear some more of Hynes work as Lightspeed Champion before the album drops, Good Weather for Airstrikes has a number of live tracks, performed with Florence of Florence and the Machine, available for download, including a beautiful version of "No Surprise".

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Let's Get Retarded In Here

Shawty Lo - Dey Know feat. Young Jeezy, Dubb, E-40, Plies, Gorilla Zoe, Ludacris & Lil' Wayne

Is Shawty Lo taking the piss? Or is there a competition for how many people you can get to guest on a track? This is seven guest rappers. SEVEN. If I'm the record company, and Shawty Lo goes "I want seven of my friends on this track, and you need to pay them all," my response is "you, sir, are responsible for Shake Tha Laffy Taffy, and that's enough spasticness for at least the next five years." Shawty claims he's going solo so he's not typecast by Laffy Taffy, which is why he upped the smarts and called his track Dey Know, confirming he is illiterate. And it's a 7 minute remix. Seriously. This is entering hip-hop idiocy territory previously populated by R. Kelly, when he released Remix to Ignition WITHOUT RELEASING THE ORIGINAL TRACK.
Having said that, someone was kind enough to throw money at this celebration of all things retarded and I'm glad they did. 'Cause it's a kinda balla track. Not a fully-blown club banger, but worth a listen. Three-point-five mics.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Brag Reviews Vol I : Hermitude - Rare Sightings

This is one of the many reviews I have completed 'The Brag', a weekly Sydney street press.

Hermitude are amazing. There I said it. I don't mean to sound gushing but they have never disappointed. Not only have they generated two flawless instrumental LP's (Alleys to Valleys & Tales from the Drift) they also put on an amazing live show and have contributed numerous standout tracks to various Elefant Traks stable mates releases such as this years 'The Signal' by Urthboy. It was with great expectation that I cracked the plastic on this new EP, which was recorded on the road around the world in places such as San Francisco, Paris and Norway. In no way did they disappoint, combining a range of styles with ease and class.

Opener 'Sunsetter' combines a reggae strut with soul samples and a smooth horn line. 'Nightshade' lays a Shirley Bassey style vocal over a smokey sax and piano combination. From there 'Swamp Sauce' takes a jazz turn while 'Deadline' is all acoustic guitar picks and lilting vocal samples. Final track 'Alter Ego' ends the album loud and strong with a squelching b-line and strong kick. All through this EP scratches from Elgusto add extra spice and humour to the mix.

While the instrumental field is cluttered with great names from the jazzy sounds of Fat Jon, to the trip hop of DJ Krush or even the garage minimalism of Burial; Hermitude standout with their ability to combine all these styles into one seamless mixture. I urge you to not only pick this EP up but also their two past LPs. My only regret is that this disc wasn't longer.

Another classic release from the boys from the Blue Mountains.

4 Stars

Tone Setting For A Summer Arvo

There are those of us who have armed ourselves with an arsenal of melodic indie-pop, blissfully imagining a soundtrack to summer weekends spent with rosé and friends in a sunny backyard. But Sydney, in inimitable fashion, is threatening overcast humidity for basically the rest of 2007. Great. Nonetheless, these tracks should sound sweet no matter where you're sitting, and set the mood for a lazy summer eve.

Sparkadia - Animals
Local popsters and acquaintances of the BW kids, Sparkadia have scored themselves Single of the Week on iTunes. So get your free download on until December 17th over at the iTunes store. This maybe isn't lazy listening, but it sure sounds nice.

Colourbook - Lung Fung
You imagine these guys are kinda meek, tattooed Portland-looking scenesters. Unpretentious but erupting with talent. The type of guys who have a quiet charisma, but when they sink a few will end up on the table belting out Run to the Hills with older alcoholics at the Ashfield.

Human Television - In Front of the House
Speaking of Portland, this BW writer caught these guys there last year. They don't seem to have made ripples in Australia, despite having their released album "Look At Who You're Talking To" over 18 months ago. Which is a shame, because they put together some seriously catchy melodies and endearing lyrics.

Harlem Shakes - Waltz
These kids outta Brooklyn (ironically) are making deluxe music. This is a track from their (somewhat) recent session for Daytrotter, all of which is worth a listen. And while you're there, check out Daytrotter in general.

UGK featuring OutKast - International Players Anthem

Obviously not indie pop. But one of the feel-good tracks of the past year, and recently nominated for a Grammy. Which is only small solace for having lost half of UGK, when Pimp C passed of 'natural causes' last week. Pour out some of that rosé this summer for our ninja.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Also amazing

Thom Yorke spazzing out at the end is just the icing on the rainbow cake

Radiohead - Jigsaw Falling Into Place

They still have it....

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Liquid Gold

Commix are an amazing drum and bass production duo from Cambridge, England. They have recently put out an amazing album titled 'Call to Mind'. Standout tracks include 'How You Gonna Feel', 'Be True' and 'Japanese Electronics'. To hear those and I find out more check out their Myspace here.

As a bonus they have just posted a free mp3 of one of the tracks that didn't quite make it onto the album - not surprisingly its just as amazing as the rest of their work. Enjoy.

NOTE: This track is available as a download on DNBA so you will need to register to gain access to it. It only takes a second and is totally worth it.

Commix - Broken Man

Monday, December 10, 2007

Bright, Bright Heat

Two of the BW team were very impressed by the preview of new material The Panics gave the peeps at Splendour in the Grass back in August, but their victory in the 2007 J Award was still unexpected. Their third full-length, the meticulous Cruel Guards is definitely a highlight of a very strong year in Australian music and beat out such notable nominees as Katalyst (the funky What's Happening?), Urthboy (sweetly produced The Signal), Silverchair (Young Modern) and Architecture in Helsinki (the kinky Places Like This) amongst many other incredible Aussie albums.
The inaugural Triple-J J Award, for the best Australian album of the year, was claimed by Wolfmother's self-titled debut in 2005 . Last year saw Adelaide's Hilltop Hoods take out the award with The Hard Road. Clearly the Panics are now in esteemed company as a winner. So, congratulations from BW to the boys from Perth on a much deserved J Award!

The Panics - Cruel Guards

For 2007, Triple-J introduced the Unearthed J Award for new, unsigned bands and Young + Restless took it out. They're an exciting five-piece (seems it was the year to be a five-piece) from Canberra who have been kicking around for a couple of years with a lead somewhat reminiscent of Karen O. Definitely worth watching these kids!

Young + Restless - Satan

Friday, December 7, 2007

Novelty comes of age

Its a crazy post modern world we live in and novelty songs are nothing new. The difference is that these days they seem to stick. From Dick in Box to Thou Shalt Always Kill these songs have been lingering around and received more praise than anything Rolf Harris ever did.

This shift has given me an excuse to rave about two great shows who integrate music in different ways. Flight of the Concords is on HBO and features two New Zealand folk singers struggling to make it in the Big Apple. Each episode contains at least two comic tinged songs which relate in someway to the narrative. They have recently released an EP with a number of standout song from the first season. Find one of my personal favorites below.

Flight of the Concords - Business Time

The other show I wanted to big up is 30 Rock which is about to start screening down under. On US screens this show is now into its second season and is pretty damn funny especially for NBC. The show is set behind the scenes of a fictional weekly sketch show and stars Tina Fey and Tracy Morgan. To add to the confusion Tracy Morgan plays a character on the show called Tracy Jordan who is basically a slightly amped up version of his real persona. Find below a bizarre 80's novelty single Tracy Jordon recorded for the show.

Tracy Jordan - Werewolf Bar Mitzvah!

America's Addiction

The Grammy nominations for 2007 are in this morning so I'll throw up a quick summary. The big two are Kanye, who has received 8 nominations for his Graduation piece, and Amy Winehouse, who has 6 for her Ronson-produced peach Back to Black. Other nominees include Springsteen (4), lauded for the return to his best form on Magic, Justice, LCD and Arcade Fire, for the heat they've brought this year. And so we await the announcements of the winners on Feb 10 2008

The full list of nominees can be peeped here.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

C'mon Baby

And so it begins again - a new blog with a focus on music and a new partner in crime. So let the beats flow.

A quick one to start off - a killer remix of an already great track. Saigon (who you may have seen on Entourage) finally gets the producer he deserves in the form of Just Blaze. Never one to miss out on a hot track this is Jigga's verse from the remix. Enjoy

Saigon - C'mon Baby (Remix featuring Jay-Z)