Something for the Summer: Baby Queens

Baby Queens at Dinefwr Literature Festival, 21/6/14

Baby Queens at Dinefwr Literature Festival, 21/6/14

As I’ve mentioned before, my mission at every festival I attend is to get hooked on a new act. This year, rather than Glastonbury or somewhere else with hundreds of different stages and performers, I was at the Dinefwr Literature Festival near Llandeilo in West Wales, mainly because Trwbador were playing. An interesting new experience – great set from them, fascinating guided tour of the remains of Dinefwr Castle, got heckled by the comedian Bridget Christie (I’ve never actually been to a stand-up performance before, but I do have a vague idea it’s supposed to be the other way round…) and heard the amazing Viv Albertine in conversation (but missed getting my copy of her book signed as I had to head off to Trwbador – dammit, Dinefwr, if you have only three stages why can’t you synchronise the timings properly to allow people to move between them..?).

However, the emphasis on the literary side of things did mean that the musical pickings were a little thinner: four blokes with copious beards who had clearly decided that the future of music was a fusion of Coldplay and Fleet Foxes (they may of course be right), some badly distorted noise with unintelligible vocals (needed more dynamic contrast, and I needed a beer – a shout out to Jacobi Brewery’s Red Squirrel) and… Cardiff’s Baby Queens. Perfect summer music: vocal harmonies that remind me a bit of En Vogue, plus some effective rapping; catchy songs with a chilled soul/RnB groove, with a hint of dub in the live performance (but they really need to get a proper bass player – the sound needs a bit more bottom end to be perfect). Four songs released so far (links to two of the catchiest ones below the fold), and an album planned for 2015. The one thing I find disturbing is that Gary Lineker is a fan, through a family connection, but please don’t hold that against them… Continue reading

He Said – She Said ~ A to Z of Japanese Music – The Letter F

 

"I am A Fish and I begin with F ! ! !"

“I am a Fish and I begin with F ! ! !”

faye-80She Says:

Welcome to the letter F ! ! !   Gosh we are at F already ! ! ! !  That means this week we are sharing some views on the crazy world of Japanese J-pop fans, some cool music from Shibuya, Tokyo’s capital of cool, some really nice pop punk and a great girl band who even sing in Engrish ! ! !  I think it is really fun week and we hope you like it  ! ! !

mrp3He says:

A letter that means a lot of things to a lot of people, some of them quite rude. Nevertheless we must cover it and here is our selection of music related things that begin with F. We hope you find them interesting.

teacher 2P Sensei says:

Do not forget He Said – She Said is educational and not just fun.  Learn Japanese the fun and easy way with my world famous one word a week method, available exclusively in He Said – She Said on The Spill ! ! ! 

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Llamalpaca’s A Waste Of Space 1D. Giving Fans What They Want.

JD Oven Gloves

One Direction – that’s 1D to you.  The first band in US Billboard history to have their first three albums debut at number one. And no, I can’t name you one of their songs either.

One Direction star Louis Tomlinson likely to appear for Doncaster Rovers reserves - video

I first became aware of Louis Tomlinson -1 of 1D – when he got clobbered in a  pre-season charity football match. Undeterred, he is about to do something rather unique: he has signed a non-contract deal with Doncaster Rovers as part of an ongoing association with the club in aid of Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, and will tonight make his debut for the reserves against Rotherham in front of  4,000 adoring 1D fans. This is very noble of Mr Tomlinson and we should all salute him for using his celebrity status to good effect. But it also struck me as somewhat unique in that everybody gains from his participation: the fans get up close with their idol, the club gets more people attending their matches and who knows they may even come back to watch the first team, Bluebell Wood will be better able to support and care for children less fortunate than ourselves, and Tomlinson fulfils the dream of playing for his beloved Rovers.

So that’s a good example of giving fans what they want. There are plenty of questionable ones. Anyone for a  Kiss coffin? Do you really need eight Pearl Jam live lps? Or do you lust after a pair of them oven gloves, immortalised by Half Man Half Biscuit?

casket.burial.KISS_.Premium2

Can you think of an altruistic act of giving by an artist? Maybe you can think of an act of pure exploitation that needs to be aired. Any stance should be supported with some form of evidence or justification.

Off you go then.

saneshane’s best of 2013

best-of-2013

Best of 2013 by ME:

10 dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip – I’m contracted to add Pip every year.. this is one of the best protest tracks of the year – again missed by Dorian.
Stiff Upper Lip dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip feat. Itch Repent Replenish Repeat

9 Orties – French elctro making you dance like a robot from 1984 – here you go – accented songs about orgasms and goths – sold.
Ghetto Goth Orties Sextape

8 The Indelicates – Arcade Fire’s extremely intense love of their own dangly bits getting on your nerves? – then try this – yet another brilliant story telling album played with passion and anger but without the egoistic self love of the brilliant ideas involved – they ARE brilliant ideas and wonderfully imaginative musically and lyrically too.
Bitterness Is the Appropriate Response The Indelicates Diseases of England

7 Zola Jesus – with strings, lush and cool reedits of her ‘famous hits’.
Collapse Zola Jesus Versions

6 Manix – the Daft Punk album retro theft left you cold with it stealing from all the crap eras (when they used to at least try and be pioneers) and only having one track of any merit – yep – skip that and play this; it recreats 1992 with all the fun of a prodigy album off their tits with spiral tribe… no pretense at originality – no media hype – this it 24 hour rave and it’s boz.
Your Love Is Over Manix Living In The Past

5 The Lovely Bad Things – the pixie aping nuggets loving bad things.
Darth Lauren The Lovely Bad Things The Late Great Whatever

4 Savages – there’s is no better indie this year – full stop.
No Face Savages Silence Yourself

3 Tricot – jagged jittery brilliance from Japan – a masterpiece of alternative buzz rock playing and performance. ACE.
Artsick Tricot The

2 Sleaford Mods – ranting, swearing infested, bile, spewed forth with aggressive venom and stream of consciousness – brilliant – is number one album of the year when I’m not in polite company – (**this track from Jobseeker 3 track single not austerity dogs album).
Black Monday Sleaford Mods Jobseeker album is Austerity Dogs

1 Juana Molina – crazy mixed up groovetastic joy.
Eras Juana Molina Wed 21

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Buried Christmas treasure

christmas small
I recently received an early Christmas present in the shape of a pen drive loaded with the entire Buried Treasure back catalogue, and as Tom Petty’s radio programme is currently in its eighth season and there are 24-5 programmes per season with 20 or so tracks per programme you better believe that’s a fair old amount of music. I’m currently listening my way through Season Two and I came across this Christmas show which I thought you people might like. He does play two of his own recordings, which isn’t usual, but those of you who don’t like TP&TH can always skip those.

Happy Christmas!

1 Theme Song
2 I Feel OK – Detroit Junior
3 Merry Christmas, Baby – Otis Redding
4 Christmas All Over Again – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
5 Who Took The Merry Out Of Christmas – Staples Singers
6 Silver Bells – Booker T and the MGs
7 White Christmas – Otis Redding
8 Tom’s Mailbag
9 Christmas Comes But Once A Year – Albert King
10 Santa Claus Is Back In Town – Elvis Presley
11 Merry Christmas – Lightnin’ Hopkins
12 Santa Claus Baby – The Voices
13 Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin’ – Sir Mack Rice
14 The Christmas Song – King Curtis
15 Run, Run Rudolph – Chuck Berry
16 Red Rooster – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
17 Back Door Santa – Clarence Carter
18 Happy New Year – Lightnin’ Hopkins
19 Christmas Song – The Chipmunks
20 Feels Like Christmas – Al Greene
21 Little Drummer Boy/Silent Night/
Auld Lang Syne – Jimi Hendrix
22 Jingle Bells – Booker T and the MGs

Blimpy’s Best Long Playing Records of The Year

image

In a slight break from tradition, I’m sticking to the vinyl that I bought this year (sorry Crocodiles & Mikal Cronin, your records were great too, I just don’t own them yet!) – Here’s a not-particularly ordered list!

1. “The Bones Of What You Believe”Chrvrches. Unstoppable song writing from these Glaswegians, a pop heart shot through with a bullet of the all important Scots melancholy. Mighty non-cheesy 80s synths abound.

2. “Modern Vampires Of The City”Vampire Weekend. Good golly there’s a plethora of cracking & clever tunes on here, as the VW begin to contemplate their mortality & place in the world.

3. “A Sea Of Spilt Peas”Courtney Barnett. Bob Dylan, Lou Reed & Kurt Cobain as seen through the lens of a slightly bonkers, mildy stoned Australian singer.

4. “Pedestrian Verse”Frightened  Rabbit. The fourth good record in a row from Selkirk’s finest.

5. “Dream Cave” - Cloud Control. Skewed psych-pop from more Aussies (what do they put in their water over there?)

6. “Hobo Rocket”Pond. Heavy deavy psyche nonsense lifting bits of Zep and Bowie, sounds like it was knocked off in an evening. Australian. Bonza.

7. “II” – Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Tripped out rambling 60sesque psyche pop from a bunch of long haired freaks. Not Australian!!! What??!

8. “Secret Soundz Vol 2″ – Pictish Trail. I think I may have put this in last year’s list too, but as it officially came out this year…

9. “Now That You Are A Dancer”Kid Canaveral. More indie pop perfection from the brawsome foursome, now with added shoegaze & epicosity.

10. “EP 1″Pixies. Not technically an LP, but I did play the heck out of it. 3 amazing songs, one ok song. No Kim. Still a good deal.

I’d be interested in seeing your lists, so if you can’t be bothered to do a full post, please put top 3s/5s/10s/100s in the comments! I love lists!

An unlikely barbryn playlist

Since I’ve got a quiet afternoon, I thought I’d resurrect a pair of dormant ‘Spill series.

Way back in the mists of time, ToffeeBoy created the catchily titled Regular ‘Spillers Post Music That You Wouldn’t Really Expect From Them, Knowing Their Musical Tastes A Bit As You Do. And it’s been a while since we had a pick one/ditch one playlist.

So, here are 11 tracks that you probably wouldn’t really expect from me, knowing my musical tastes a bit as you do. There is no alt-country, Swedish indie pop or sensitive singer-songwriters. There is pop, R&B, hip-hop and dance from the 90s, 00s and even 10s.

You may pick a favourite and a least favourite if you wish. You are very welcome to suggest other tunes that would feel at home on this playlist. You may even find something you like.

He Said – She Said Special Cross Cultural Edition – Typically English – Typically Japanese ! ! !

 If he chooses a track about octopus's . .  I will kill him ! ! !

If he chooses a track about octopuses . . I will kill him ! ! !

sakura 1Welcome to the special Cross Cultural Edition of He Said – She Said ! ! !  This time we decided to show what we think is typical of the music from each other’s counties ! ! !  So I will be picking typically English tracks and Mr P will be picking typically Japanese tracks ! ! !

We think it will be fun and hope you like the post ! ! !

Mr P-1This time we have chosen to visit each other’s musical heritage in a fantastic cross cultural exchange type of a thing. I think it’s interesting to see how others see us, through the medium of music. We have chosen one contemporary  track, one oldie and one traditional.  We hope you enjoy the tracks.

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Trwbador: ‘Trwbador’

My favourite description of Trwbador’s music is still the one offered by Radio Wales’ Adam Walton about their first EP: “There’s a wide-eared wonder and playfulness to their sound as if they were deserted at birth and raised by the instruments in the school music cupboard.”  Their early songs were gorgeous but fragile, a delicate balance of Owain’s guitar and Angharad’s voice with subtle beats underneath, feeling like they needed cosseting from the big bad world – rather like new-born giraffes, matchstick legs sticking  out at unusual angles. As their career progressed, the word ‘quirky’ was definitely called for: the mixture of Welsh and English, the juxtaposition of lovely pop/folk melodies and throwaway electronic experiments, the occasional lapses into giggly silliness (Google It) and unusual cover versions, generally featuring glockenspiel (Army Dreamers and Only Trust Your Heart), plus a guest spot on Cornershop’s 2012 Christmas single, Every Year So Different.

Now at last their debut album is here, and they’re all grown up…

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Ear Candy – Break My Heart

candy_heart

Ok, so you’ve all been good sports and suffered through my Stones lists, rock lists, garage noise, rock / punk heavy A-list, axe wank list, etc. So i thought that as you were all probably dreading my week for the Spill Game, i’d put up something a bit different. Some of you may remember that i have a not-so-secret hankering for a pretty pop tune. So in honor of VD (i was supposed to be next week, but i switched off with DsD), i did a list of some pretty ear candy instead of the usual ear-splitting stuff. You know the drill – toss one or all, or keep as you see fit.

Will that do?

(Look, there are going to be guitars. There just are. It comes with the turf. But they’re gorgeous Byrds-y, Las-y, melodic, reverby, distorty, feedbacky, groovy, and even maybe some acoustic-y. Maybe a bit of saminess at the beginning of the list, but how can you complain when it’s this easy on the ears. Huh? I do promise that there’s nothing like Jimmy Page taking a dump on a Telecaster.)

Happy VD to all!


(Did this the new player way because a) it cut down on buffering problems, and b) makes it easier to find a specific song.)

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Sakura’s – J-Pop Corner – Free the AKB 48 ! ! !

Free The AKB 48 ! ! !

Free The AKB 48 ! ! !

J-pop has been in the news recently and for all the wrong reasons ! ! !  Minami Minegishi one of the founding members of the group was photographed leaving the house of her boyfriend and has made a public apology and as a symbol of her regret she has shaved her head.

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‘Spill Game – Week # As If I Ruddy Know: “POP!” goes the worst one…

Newsweek-cover-crop

So last time I went all crowd-pleasey (or as crowd-pleasey as I can manage) with tasteful eclecticism. And this time… well, this time I’ve probably swung too far in the opposite direction and won’t be pleasing anyone whatsoever. Yes, folks, I’ve gone pop. Mainstream, well-known, pure and simple every time. Forgive me my synths, I know exactly what I do. Sadly…

Track and artist names (and a few short attempts at justification) after the jump…

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10 from 11 from 12

Snow business

I never got round to doing a post on my albums of the year last year. I’m sure this was a profound disappointment to everyone, so here are 11 tracks from records I liked which I don’t think featured on the Festive ‘Spill (my own choices apart) or other people’s list.

You know the rules. Pick your favourite, pick your 11th favourite. And please feel free to mention any songs or albums from 2012 to which the Spill’s collective attention should be drawn.

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Which Cut Is The Bestest?

true love Waits

It may be a song much used & abused by karaoke maniacs, bedroom youtubers, & egotistical pop stars but let us not forget what a phenomenal tune it really is. Cat may have sold it to PP for £30 back in the day – but which version of the three do you prefer? Or do you know of a better one (I have looked for a noisy indie rock version, and failed, but would love it if there was one in existence)?

‘Spill points are available, and there are bonus ‘Spill points if you can explain why Tom Waits is holding a bunny. caption the Tom Waits & bunny photo.

Scots indie goes…..POP!

Chvrches

 

As we’ve not had a post for today, I thought I’d sneak one in before bedtime. “The Mother We Share” by Chvrches has snuck up on me, catching it on the radio, then finding out that there’s some ‘Spill Scots indie faves in the band, specifically one former Twilight Sad member, and one from DsD’s besties list, the mighty Aereogramme. There may well be a glut of bad 80s influenced electropop kicking about at the moment, but this is simply a fab song, with a wee hint of the old Scots melancholic beauty to boot.

New Steve Mason – “Fight Them Back”

Former Beta Band frontman Steve Mason’s 2010 album was voted best of the year in the ‘Spill album of the year awards, and now he’s back with a follow up. In revolutionary mode, “Fight Them Back” is primo Mason, with the signature dual vocal melody outro in place and a scathing Tony Blair sample to finish with. I bloody love it, goosebumps time, and yeah it’s about time the corrupt capitalist system got a boot in the face.

It was a bright cold day on the ‘spill, and the clocks were striking 13…

11-12-13-rr-game

My 11 most played albums of ’12 in ’13.

My end of year round up is now turned into the ‘spill game:
you know the score DUMP one (or all of them – see if I care)

It’s pop and it’s fun – don’t take it too seriously.
Remember, they are my most played – I’m not claiming they will change the world – I just liked them.

Band names in BOLD – for those who believe I make stuff up:

1 Stroke My Curls The Dodoz Forever I Can Purr 2012
2 Cuka (feat. Ikonoklasta) Batida Batida (feat. Mck, Circuito Feixado, Ikonoklasta, Beat Laden 2012
3 The Empty Man Whitey Lost Summer 2012
4 Genevieve Stealing Sheep Into The Diamond Sun 2012
5 Horn For The Whole Damn World Lazarus and the Plane Crash Horseplay
6 Passenger Emily Wells Mama 2012
7 Kevlar Sweethearts Diablo Swing Orchestra Pandora’s Pinata 2012
8 Be Strong (Blakkat Remix) The 2 Bears Be Strong (Deluxe Edition) 2012
9 Rat-at-at The Skints Part & Parcel 2012
10 Clap Hooded Fang Tosta Mista 2012
11 Circus Sunday Driver The Mutiny 2012

He Said – She Said ~ We Love – Goose House ! ! !

Goose House

She Says:  

Are Goose House a group  or a musicians collective?  We do not really know and actually we do not care because Goose House are FUN ! ! !  In this special edition of He Said – She Said we want to share our enthusiasm for this wonderful group of young musicians who have taken a very different path to success and on the way have had a lot of fun and shared the fun with many thousands of people.

He Says:

A little bit difficult for me to write about this band as I only came across them a few weeks ago in relation to the Yui tribute album ( see Sakura’s previous post). However I’ve been playing their songs and videos and find them very enjoyable. This post, I think, illustrates two things about the Japanese music scene at the moment.
1. There’s still room for “bedroom” musicians.
2. It’s pretty much self contained. Goose House could cover “Teen Spirit” or other Western rock songs but they choose J-pop instead. They don’t need us.

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Pretty Please

Some of you may be aware that i have a few obsessions – for covers, axe wank, Stones, and i have another one you may or may not be aware of – for swooningly pretty pop tunes. Compiling a personal list here that may end up elsewhere – can you help me out?

Not a challenge, no rules, post as many of the prettiest pop tunes as you see fit. The definition of pop here is pretty loose too. Bonus Spill points for newtomes.
Thanks!

He Said – She Said . . . It’s The J-Factor ! ! ! 

What do we do with the winners Mr P?
Exploit them ruthlessly like everyone else Ms S ! ! !

She Says:

Welcome to the J- factor ! ! !  This post is based on a popular TV series which maybe some of you have seen.  Basically we have three categories.  Solo, Group and Oldie. I will nominate one track for each category and Mr P will nominate one for each category and then you will have the chance to vote for your favourite.  We hope you have fun listening to the tracks and voting for your favourites ! ! !

He Says:

Call me S*mon C**ell and pass me a pair of high waisted trousers. It’s time for a head to head J-Factor contsest. The rules are clear ( vote for me) and the gloves are off !

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K-Pop – random thoughts…

Sakura’s Kara Earworm got my mind wandering this morning and I happened to have my laptop in my bag, so here are some random thinkings…….

I have to confess that I’m kind of fascinated by the whole K-pop phenomenon. As you may know, most K-pop stars are required to attend intensive and thorough training and teaching in a wide range of skills – singing, dancing, language skills (usually English, Japanese and Chinese), interview and media training etc alongside regular school studies, for a number of years before they are unleashed on the world as a complete unit. It’s like a combination of university study and job training.

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Why Are You Being So Toquiwa Now?


Tokyo all female three-piece TOQUIWA release their hi-energy J-punk in the UK on October the 22nd, 2012. Scopitones announced TOQUIWA’s self-titled debut on digital release and limited edition tour CD.
They begin touring the UK on 26/10 in Bournemouth – I’m going to be there (in a home made bright orange TOQUIWA T-shirt) – I also made a T-shirt using the ticket from a live Wedding Presents Ukrainian Sessions gig. But I can’t wear both.

This is the track listing and below the review are Smash Hits style questions sportingly answered by the band.

(I want to post this today – so I will have to ask Sakura to advise if I’ve got anything in the wrong places)

Photograph of the band used with permission – all designs created by arTEEsane are not for profit – please don’t use.


illustrative track from Music Ripple recorded as Pinky Piglets

The self titled album by Toquiwa on the Wedding Presents Scopitones label, should almost be called go out and get ‘em girl – such is the frantic pace that they erupt with perfect pop rock. The first 13 seconds set up the album (you heard right – 13 seconds sets out their manifesto) – Fantasticly playing the many influences and condensing them into a tight Toquiwa package.
Strangely managing to be extremely talented musicians yet still exuding that punk ethic of innocence and naivety.
The tracks have so many astonishingly catchy segments and hooks, you wonder how the pace can be kept up, but keep up they do, building and building, twisting styles and era’s together as if timelines were squeezed, squashed and smashed into their musical brains. Until in comes out sounding as though these things should always have sat together (superbly) in each 3 minute track.
Not only that, they know how to sequence an album – just as your head might explode keeping up – (ten second bar room blues, into superfly 70’s style, into a quiet millisecond break – roaring back into .. you get the drift – I’m loath to compare because it all sounds so Toquiwa – but as reference you could detect The Animals merging with a Curtis Mayfield track with hints of Kirsty MacColl’s weariness and wonder, while a Status Quo repetitive rock riff underpins a track – and quite loud quiet indie rock aesthetics jostle in) they take a breather with a ballad – and then we are invited to party hard once again, ending with an enthusiastic Wedding Present adaption to thrill and inspire while closing the album out.
It’s fantastic fun – superbly performed and feverishly played. Total enjoyment.

Would they be happy to answer my frivolous questions linking to each song on the album?:

各曲に関連した私のくだらない質問に答えていただけたら幸いです。

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Strings Attached

My friends in The Electric String Orchestra put on a big show in Glasgow a few months back, which I was lucky enough to catch on camera. They do rock n roll & popular covers with a 12 piece orchestra (Bowie, Muse, Lady GaGa, GnR, King Creosote etc) and have guest singers also (Emma Pollock, Twilight Sad still to come, I will post when they’re ready!).

This clip is of fine Highlands folk singer Rachel Sermanni performing one of her songs, Rachel has gone down well on The ‘Spill previously, so I thought you may like to see this.

And after the jump, Britney Spears gets tackled.  Continue reading