Tuesday, April 27, 2010
This was the final record I bought at Record Store Day, which was being pushed with the premise of being a Mogwai remix. To be buying such a seven inch for £5.99 featuring two acts that I haven’t had any interest in for years. This purchase truly represents the meltdown felt from the frenzy of Record Store Day.
Over the past year I have been watching Ash valiantly shit out regular seven inch singles attached to letters but never once have I been inspired, motivated or compelled to actually buying one of them. Today things have reached letter N (number 14) so I guess by now it is probably too late to begin my collection if I should desire so.
And I don’t. “Dare To Dream” is something of a mess. A mess with sprinkles. Even now after both acts have had their best days Ash and Mogwai make for awkward and uncomfortable bedfellows and on this release it only appears to etch out the worst elements in each band as Tim Wheeler’s silly vocals emerge very camp against a dragged out and doggy Mogwai aural drawl. In a way it sounds like Joy Division mutating into early New Order as they discover drum machines but from another perspective there is a sense of languid betrayal in how it also sounds something of a sonic abortion.
The release is a one sided affair with an etched b-side that looks relatively aesthetically pleasing. It’s all relative.
Thesaurus moment: hill.
Monday, April 26, 2010
This is a confusing release on many many levels. Firstly I experience “the Peel” in not knowing whether I am playing the seven inch at the correct speed or not. When the vocals appear on what I believe to be “David Comes To Life” I would seem that I am indeed playing the record at the wrong speed. My confusion from what the actual track is stems from the fact that the single has the b-side label on both sides of the record. Was this a mean track done playfully on purpose?
The biggest confusion for me however arises due to the fact that I just don’t get Fucked Up. I sincerely want to love them and indulge but when the record comes up to plate and faces an open goal somehow it just spoons the effort beyond the grave.
Starting again now at the correct speed the store opens up with “Magic Word” which is a mesmerising shuffle that sounds almost skiffle and strangely Ice Cream For Crow all at the same time. I think this is something Charlie Hodge would recommend to Elvis during a drinking session. Wha’ happened? Isn’t this supposed to be the current pinnacle of punk?
Listening to “David Comes To Life” at the correct speed is a far more enjoyable experience than listening to it at the wrong. Go figure, I’m an idiot. The vocals sound discerningly dub as the guitar loops all surrounding parties in unnecessary fashion.
“Crooked Head” is the track most recognisable as Fucked Up with Pink Eyes trademark artistic expression being best represented with a backbeat that feels as if it is working against him rather than with him. As with much of their material it makes for an uncomfortable sync, one that does not do as much justice to the other as should be.
Coming with a useful Fucked Up 7” list insert, this release is culled from a session at Daytrotter Studios in November 2008 and is the Fucked Up contribution to Record Store Day 2010 on many levels.
Thesaurus moment: balk.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
With Beck still in tow this is a Sunset Sound Session single released to coincide with Record Store Day 2010 of two tracks culled from said session recorded for KCRW radio in Los Angeles.
“Heaven Can Wait” is a plonking ditty that brings to mind rural green California in the late sixties just as the dream is dying and all the idealists are frantically clinging onto their dreams. In other words it is a summery sounding affair with an explicit spring in its step.
Charlotte Gainsbourg possesses a genuinely unique vocal style. By unique I mean that she often sounds male, perhaps this is the result of too much Lemon Incest (although equally this could just be the influence of Hansen). Regardless it means that her act/spiel/shtick is full of quirk and character which serves to enable her to appeal to an uncomfortable audience.
The Beck input as composer and lyricist is tangible as a bendy narrative is churned out, one that possesses the devil may care attitude of a person that no longer need worry about the world.
Roaming onto the other side things sound/become very mechanic and minimal with the frenetic rush of “IRM” that almost rides into Stereolab territory screaming of a person desperately trying to be kooky and different while running the music equivalent of an egg and spoon race.
Its all breezy and disposable stuff, material that could equally be at the beach or in the sewer come a few months time.
Thesaurus moment: spring.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
I once saw Foals play live at Latitude Festival and unfortunately it was one of the most feeble sets I have ever witnessed from a band with such clout being pumped into and put behind them.
Its not all hate from me honestly I have genuinely liked a number of their singles but sometimes you just have to shrug and concede “I don’t get it.” I remember when I worked at the studio and how the A&R (A&E) lady was raving about in the context of all this nu-rave gimmick stuff. At this point I genuinely thought there was more to them. Then Sub Pop signed them in the US so surely there must be something there to grab hold of. So with nice looking artwork on Record Store Day as all the limited edition releases I actually want have gone to pushier individuals than myself here is me giving them another chance.
On that note I’ll be fucked if I know what they are doing on this single. For starters it is so fucking quiet and subdued. Why is this? What point are they trying to make? Is this them sounding mature? Sounding as if operating on a knife edge? Am I playing the record at the wrong speed again? (no to that last one).
So well done, once again the kids have been let down by a band claiming so much and delivering so little. How the fuck can Warners be justified in supporting this? Why are they wasting the earth’s resources on such dross?
Eventually the song crawls out of its stupor only to resemble some eighties sports television soundtrack. Can the bar be actually lowered any further?
Thesaurus moment: spoon.
Warners Music Ltd
So the last time I was in a relationship was about a year ago. And well, I’ve been single ever since I moved to Kuala Lumpur. It’s quite sad actually, cause as the day goes by, I get even more desperate, looking for the next relationship. When my last relationship ended, I was in bad shape, in terms of physical appearances. I was 70kgs when I started my last relationship and was 86kgs when that relationship ended. Talking about letting go.
Then I tried to fix up my life bit by bit. It was hard, moving to a new city, getting used t everything, weight still went up and down. It took me more than half a year but only a few months ago I started really moving on, I am now 73kgs and started making new friends in Kuala Lumpur. I manage to budget my spending (I’m still constantly broke) but I know how to spend less in clubs. My assignments have been going alright and I’m not really alone, I have housemates.
Then came this new person, whom added me on facebook. I realized that we had quite a number of friends in common. So we talked and talked online, not long conversations, but just the usual get to know one another kind of talk, and well, I started liking this new person. In terms of looks, well, fairly good looking, seems like a good background, not too tall, not too short, and not old as well. Everything seems just nice.
I haven’t exactly met this person in person before, we did set a date but before the “day” comes all I do is think about this new person. I keep thinking if it will work out, I hope it will work out, I hope that we will click on our coffee date. I hope for many things. Yes, I am desperate, but I want to be in a relationship badly, with someone I click and care about. I can’t help it because I have two couples living in my house. It’s sad, really.
What I’m scared of is that when we do eventually meet, this person might not be interested in me anymore, or worse, I might not be interested in this person. I want to think that I’m boyfriend material but from the few rejections that I got from being here, well, all I can say is that my confidence is not as high as before. However, I am baring in mind that when a door closes, a window might open.
I hope the coffee date goes well. If it doesn’t, well, then I have to move on.
Life is so sad.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
YAY ME!! I got myself a new toy to play with and this time it's the HTC HD mini phone!
Got invited to the HTC HD mini event down at Ion, so there I went! I was most pleasantly surprised to find out that they were providing hair and make up for guests for a mini (pun intended) photoshoot!!
Being hiao, I immediately went for the empty hair styling hot seat!
Stylist was blow-drying my hair coz it's still a bit wet!
What better to do than to play with my new phone while getting hair done??
Took a few camwhoring shots and IT WAS AWESOME!!
At 5 mega pixels (auto focus! Widescreen Photo Capture!) all the photos taken turned out so nice! Stupid Blackberry's camera is just bloody 3.2mp. -_-
Me + mini
All my hair straightened! And then the hair stylist took quite some time to transform my boring tresses into a elaborate curls!
This is the make up counter...
Tadah!!!!!! Poofed up hair!
It's time for my photoshoot!!
(Don't ask me what's the pink rectangle in the photo for the life of me I can't figure it out!! I think my camera went siao. Or maybe the phone can chu power. Hadoken!)
They printed out the photos for us, magazine-styled, and here is mine!
How? Cover girl material or what?!
Reviewing the photo taken by the pros...
And take another with my camera!! Artsy boh!!
They also have many other HTC phones around to let the invited guests play with, including the mini!
On the outside, the HTC looks so boring being all black, but the inside will completely surprise you!!
It is BUMBLEBEE YELLOW!!!
How cute and happy-looking!! LOL
Now for a little more about the product...
The HTC HD mini is a fully touchscreen phone and I don't usually like touchscreen phones but it was intuitive and surprisingly enough it was a breeze typing on it!
The interface is great with a fully customizable home page where you can place your most commonly used applications.
Lightweight and tiny, but has everything you need in a smartphone! Besides all the usual stuff (like 3G, wifi, bluetooth etc), I also like it that the multimedia player includes an FM radio!! Now I don't have to have a radio to listen to Rozz's show!
Another thing that pleasantly surprised me was the Animated Weather Wallpaper.
Amazingly enough the phone detects the weather today and animates your phone accordingly! Damn chio lah!! It was cloudy so I had clouds float around the screen, telling me that it's 27 degrees! (Night time as I am writing this)
BEST OF ALL?
I found it fantastic that when I got the phone out of the box, all the most commonly used smartphone apps were already installed for me by some considerate geek from the HTC headquarters.
All you need is your sim card and you can tweet, fb, msn with friends etc all without waiting! Watch Youtube videos! And never get lost again with Google Maps!
I didn't have to muck around with finding the apps and installing them and rebooting my phone etc!
But if you DO want more apps, they are easy to find using Windows Marketplace for Mobile. Get as many as you want!
Yes... This is the star of this entry.
But if you think I'm done here you are wrong!
THE HTC HD MINI GETS A
Black? One tone? NO WAY!
If the inside of the phone is so customizable,
so must the outside, right??
First it gets Gmasked at the kiosk at the event...
And then it is now a DELICIOUS shade of pink
AND IT IS BLINGED UP...
IN CANDY STRIPES + A PINK RIBBON!
Yes I did the blinging myself!!
YES YOU CAN WIN THIS PHONE,
BLINGED BY YOURS TRULY!!!
Just prove you have been paying attention to my blog entry by telling me
1) five awesome features I mentioned about the HTC HD mini, and
2) include WHY YOU NEED A SMARTPHONE in not more than 200 words
Most Creative entry wins!
Send your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5th May 2010 and you might get this (almost) brand new HTC HD mini phone!
Could be yours!
The phone, not me.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
For the longest time on Record Store Day 2010 I found myself wandering around with just this seven inch in my hand. Truly people were swarming all over limited edition stuff in the style of Sex And The City wannabes at a Next sale. For a moment I felt panic, I wanted out of the record shop but there was no escape. So instead I found myself just standing in a corner breathing heavily hoping to bide my time until the real goodies hidden behind the counter were to be unveiled for the patient mannered types such as myself. It didn’t happen. As I saw somebody carry off their vinyl version of the Sonic Youth Starbucks compilation for the eleventh time I knew my She & Him seven inch would not be alone in order to maintain cred as I approached the counter. From here when I finally approached the checkout with my pile of potentially mediocre vinyl, including my £6 She & Him seven inch, my pain was justified as the man smiling behind the till handed me a cloth tote bag that came exclusively with this release. Had my pain in one foul swoop suddenly been justified? I had only been in the store almost two hours by this point. Was it worth it? For £41.42 I got my record store rush.
I just dropped this record. Literally and physically, I haven’t even got around to listening to it and the corner of the spine is now already bent. The value has just gone from mint to just very good. Suddenly it doesn’t feel worth it.
She & Him feel like flavour of the month right now, which is not necessarily a band thing because Zooey Deschanel has a high level of cred right from back when she was a scene stealer in The Good Girl. That said actresses taking up indie rock has something of jaded history (Juliette Lewis and Scarlett Johansson a dubious list begins with you).
In a sad way Deschanel’s efforts remind me a bit of Reese Witherspoon in Walk The Line and as such make them DOA. In John Peel style I begin listening to the seven inch at the wrong speed (listening to it after the Factory limited edition ten inch I also got at Record Store Day). Dare I even suggest that it may sound better at such a speed (I’m down with the kids and their chopped and screwed).
I was given to believe that this would be a full on country assault but instead it is a far more sprightly affair. Her voice reminds me a lot of Tanya Donnelly, Shannon Wright and Sarah Shannon from Velocity Girl (all fantastic vocalists) but strangely the most striking aspect that grabs me is the piano line courtesy of M Ward that reminds me of the “Self Preservation Society” theme song from The Italian Job and thus it all comes full circle and the selection never escapes Hollywood.
Thesaurus moment: wrap.
She & Him
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
How can I admit that I went to St. Petersburg in Tampa Bay, Florida with a camera that I hate and fell in love with the city the first few hours and refused to take any pictures of it out of respect. "I'll be back with a better camera. This is just a scouting mission for places I like enough to visit twice."
After several hours of exploring the city by car, nature called. Where to go? It's not the land of fast food stops that I usually only use for things other than food. "Head to the marina, there must be something there."
A sweet historic looking Byzantine style little octagonal brick building on the water across from the boats in the marina suddenly caught my eye.
"No way, it's a public restroom!" Never mind more immediate needs, out came the camera I hate to snap a shot of it.
"Why am I doing this? I've never taken a photo of a bathroom before!"
People needing to enter the establishment are stopping to let me take a shot unobstructed. Tourists with puzzled expressions are wondering why I'm taking a picture of it. "Why are you taking a picture of a restroom?"
Me: "I'm not sure. Go ahead, don't let me stop you!"
A happy jogger passing by stops, jogs in place and says, "Do you know the story of this bathroom?"
Me: "Ummm, no. There's a story?"
Jogger: "As legend has it, there's a church, St. Mary's, only a few blocks from here on the corner of 4th Street and 5th Avenue. The architect of the church was not paid as promised for his work. Out of spite, he had this public bathroom built to resemble the church and had it constructed before the church was built."
Me: "Great, thanks. A bathroom with a story! Have a good jog!"
Now I've got to find the church without a map and spend time researching the story. Stories are passed on for a reason? I wasn't looking for one.
Sure enough, the church is nearby and easy to find. You'll likely find the bathroom replica first though! And it seems to be more popular!
According to the church website, the church was built in 1929, seats 1,000! Impressive!
Mini St. Mary's on the marina seats many less! And was apparently built in 1927.
The story makes sense. The church was built during the Great Depression. The architect was likely underpaid. The church has its own version of history though. No mention of the public bathroom it resembles! http://www.stmaryolg.org/history.html
I'd like to visit the interior (of the church) one day.
And the debate rages on. Is it a true story or not . . . ?
Tour guides and passing joggers (and now me) have kept the story alive.
Kudos to Henry Taylor, architect. What a beautiful and useful design of both buildings and a brillant way to make a point! Out of spite, you made the church more famous with a remarkable replica of it in the form of a restroom in a more noticeable location than the church (on the water at the marina) and helped more people find the church and learn more about it!
What's the moral of the story?
Interesting to ponder! Ha!
(Don't tick off your smart and savy architect!)
Released for Record Store Day 2010 this ten inch sampler features four tracks from the strongest arms in the Factory Records legacy. As ever with most Factory releases the packaging looks amazing, minimal but stark and tastefully done as in some respect/degree this release just represents the latest plundering of the Factory back catalogue.
After visiting Manchester earlier this year I now find myself with something of a larger appreciation for the place and the music that came from within it. Indeed it was watching 24 Hour Party People almost ten years ago now that snapped me with a moment of clarity that read “this is how a record label should be” and within a few weeks I had jacked in my own label Gringo Records.
Back on vinyl this music sounds better than ever. Despite the best efforts of Peter Hook to undermine their legacy a song such as “Transmission” will always represent the pinnacle of British independent music. The playing is frenetic, the intentions and message are just terrifying as it represents all things that were right with a genre that was supposed to be about disenfranchised individuals. This was the band performing at their peak.
“Ceremony” by New Order follows still enabling the dark elements of the band that they used to be. In comparison to Curtis the vocals of Sumner sound robotic by design, required to be startling and cold by necessity. In order to keep up business as usual it all had to be aloof.
Turning over The Durutti Column selection “Sketch For Summer” is a tweeting bird affair creating a casual roam for the listener as the label’s mentally challenged older brother act takes a stroll around the recesses of their own mind. It’s a window.
Smartly the Happy Mondays selection is the club mix of “Hallelujah” which serves to remind the listener that the band was not necessarily always the cartoon drug addled idiots that they resemble these days as they take their touring circus act around the globe doing the festival circuit cheapening their act with each blow. Received from its natural home on vinyl “Hallelujah” is such a sickly smooth piece of work with the best kind of grooving bassline offering the recipient the best in both worlds of beats and guitars. This still probably sounds magnificent in a club today, this has genuinely aged majestically. Well done chaps.
I’d take the exploits of Tony Wilson over Malcolm McLaren any day of the week. He was only a pretend prat.
I love ten inches.
Thesaurus moment: tool.
The Durutti Column
To take place on: 26-5-2010 3-7pm
In front of: General Medical Council
350 Euston Road
London NW1 3JN
Nearest underground station: Great Portland Street
Dress: as any character from Alice in Wonderland if you like. Bring your own tea and cakes, folding chair.
We will demonstrate against Human Rights Abuses by the General Medical Council
1.Against GMC failure to protect patients and public
2.Against predeterminations of guilty verdict in the cases of innocent doctors and failure to erase those doctors whose have ended lives of their patients. Against discrimination based on race, age and gender.
3.Against faulty, inadequate, biased and prejudiced investigations of complaints raised
4.Against false allegations by GMC psychiatrists of madness in doctors who have no mental illness used to prevent addressing issues raised by whistleblowers
5.For freedom of speech
6.Against religious fanatics sitting at Fitness to Practice hearings
7.Against breaches of Data Protection Act 1998
8.Against failure to address conflicts of interests of all of those involved in investigations, determinations as well as persecution and defence
Characters in Alice in Wonderland:
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
So I decided to just post them here!! LOL
(Obviously no photoshop and minimal make up... Say first coz confirm will get insulted)