Tribes - Hey Sholay - Givers Jenny Lewis - Spector S.C.U.M. - Festival Round-Up and tons more!
Welcome to the second issue of Abolish Confusion, we hope you enjoyed the first! This isn’t exactly the speedy follow up we promised, it has been a busy couple of months what with Glasto, Wireless, some pretty incredible gigs and outstanding new albums from The Horrors and Arctic Monkeys. We have learnt a lot from the first issue, listened to feedback and hopefully this will be a much better read and a third issue will follow-up much quicker. The summer might not have exactly happened this year, the sun seems to have forgotten to visit the British Isle’s but August is full of festivals and activities to fill your weekends whilst there are plenty of great new bands popping-up, check them out in our Introducing section where we’ve featured some of our favourites. Thanks for reading and we hope you discover something new. Matty
In This Issues News Bright Eyes X Factor Interview: Hey Sholay Festival Round-Up Diary: Tramlines Festival Jenny Lewis The Horrors Interview Givers Neil Cousin Picks… Tribes Explorers Picks… Suburbs on Screen Murdoch Downsizing Icon Of A Generation: Eminem
News (stuff you might h Murdoch was littering instead of creating them Ok, you probably didn’t miss this...
Another female singer w about, Laura Marling, sti First of all, it was sad to hear of the twenties and growing as death of Amy Winehouse, but it was and a performer at fright more upsetting that she gained more The Reading-born singe tabloid columns than those killed in things handed to her, sh Norway just two days previous. own way, winning a Brit deserved yet surprising a You can’t criticise the late-singer but it September sees the relea is frustrating to hear those who laalbum and from the soun belled her a junkie, a mess or whatever new songs out there, this when she was alive, then talk of her better 2009’s I Speak Be talents once she had gone. She is also set to tour in Yes, her album Back to Black is for details visit here. brilliant and for a moment she was Foo Fighters have becom too, that was six years ago, she has In The Park looked incre done little since that is worth on-stage earlier, the band celebrating and that is the sad thing. the band were playing th She had her chance, the kids in spilled over two hours b Norway never got theirs. he stopped the performa you can watch here. Not Hipocracy at its finest from the British public once again.
have missed when the front-pages, m)
worth chatting ill in her early a songwriter tening speeds. er hasn’t had he has made her was a achievement. ase of her third nds of the few s is going to ecause I Can.
n the Autumn,
Dev Hynes is back! Test Icicles seem a life time ago, they were responsible for Klaxons who went on to change music’s landscape. Unfortunately Test Icicles weren’t very good. Guitarist, Dev Hynes shocked his followers when he returned under the name Lightspeed Champion and a whole lot of folk-tinged pop. Although the songs were good, they never reached the ears they should have, two years on and he is back, under a new guise, Blood Orange and a new directiion to catch most off guard again. More information can be found here.
me, surprisingly the band of the summer. Their headlne set at T edible as the band played for over two hours. After asking to go d stuck around until they were told to leave. The following night he iTunes Festival at the Roundhouse in Camden, again the set but it was mid-gig when Dave Grohl really became the hero as ance to throw one of the crowd members out for fighting which often do you see rock stars so enthusiastic and brave.
Abolish Confusion Recommends
21 year old folk singer Laura Marling is releasing her third album A Creature I Donâ€™t Know on 12th September. The follow up to I Speak Because I Can is out on Virgin Records, head over to her website to pre-order and count the days down! www.lauramarling.com
Take It Easy, Love Nothing It was hard to take in when Bright Eyes singer Conor Oberst slipped into an interview that the album he was currently working on would be the last under the ‘Bright Eyes’ moniker. That album was The People’s Key, the collectives most successful to date (especially in the UK) and the singer has since denied the brash statement. Conor is one of the most prolific artists around having over a dozen albums under his belt, all varying in sounds and with different musicians, as well as Bright Eyes he has also worked under the name Conor Oberst & the Mystic Valley Band as a solo effort, a screamy rock out-fit Desaparecidos and part of a supergroup Monsters Of Folk. When he isn’t on tour or working on his own material he is often in the studio producing other artists, working on his record label Team Love or standing-by his political views in one way or another. Bright Eyes have been releasing music for over a decade but rarely make the trip over the Atlantic. After selling out small venues in the UK in February they returned in June for an epic show at London’s Royal Albert Hall followed by successful festival appearances and a UK tour where each night saw two hours of material from the extensive back-catalog. This version of the ever-changing Bright Eyes feels more like a band than a solo project of Conor’s and there is plenty of life left in them. The People’s Key is available now via Saddle Creek.
Short-lived Fa Take Me Out is a Saturday night entertainment television program, so is the X Factor. They are made to entertain, Take Me Out doesn’t find long-term relationships, X Factor doesn’t find real talent, people forget that. Simon Cowell’s master plan had worked well for so long, each year the winners had success for a short while, that didn’t last but that doesn’t matter, Cowell’s millions went straight into the pockets of his company, SyCo. It was the year that Jedward became the bad joke that dimensioned any credibility and the backlash began. Obviously it is still hugely successful but the ‘stars’ of the show appeared on more newspaper front pages than records sold. Contestants who only made the televised auditions sold stories to the
tabloids, making Big look like A-listers.
Every year the ITV s just in time for Chri single for the festive preceded by weeks o boot camp but first comes the auditions Those auditions, tha air in October began being filmed in June in arenas around the country. The famehungry had already sent audition tapes i then performed in-f producers before th judges (this year has Louie Walsh being t face, the others are T Barlow, former Dest Rowland and Tulisa N-Dubz) and several
g Brother inmates
show concludes istmas and a no.1 e season, that is of live shows and
s. at n e e
in, front of program heir audition to the s a new panel with the only familiar Take That’s Gary tiny Child, Kelly Contostavlos from l thousand viewers.
The London auditions took place at the O2 Arena, normally a venue that fills over 20,000 people, which is intimidating for the experienced musicians, never mind the unknowns, who are being judged. Luckily there is ‘only’ seven thousand in the arena as the production took up a lot of the venue. Over one of the four London sessions that took place about fifteen hopefuls walked on-stage. When you watch the auditions on the television they are either amazing or so bad they are funny. There was only a few who stood out as being potential winners or totally mental. They only need a handful of good and rubbish for the show from each audition but there was too many average ones begging for a second chance. With the new judging panel there was no-one taking charge like Cowell did, Barlow spoke with honesty whilst Tulisa is going to be the next Cheryl, with less tears.
Before one act arrived on-stage there was a long discussion amongst the judges and the production team who gave Tulisa some notes. The act arrived, Tulisa magically recognised him from last years series as he was part of a group who didn’t do too well and stormed off to Cowell’s criticism. They grilled the guy who was this time going solo and he had a attitude similar to Donny Tourette. After strolling around the stage performing a bad dance song, poorly, he wandered amongst the crowd and judges before Barlow stopped the music, the contestant started arguing with Tulisa like some pantomine. ‘Security’ led him on to the stage and his argument with Tulisa continued, bizarrely bringing up Camden as if they knew each other from the outside world, his girlfriend appeared on the stage to carry on the beef, it felt so contrived and scripted, but as the security took the act off the stage, the judges mic’s were turned off, you could see Tulisa clearly upset, her mic was then turned on just as ‘what a twat’ left her mouth, which made it seem feel less contrived. It must be nice not to be so cynical. In other X Factor news, for some bizarre reason Jedward keep appearing on various tv shows despite being talentless and annoying. Rumour has it that they are to take part in this years Celebrity Big Brother. Crickey. Last years bratty contestant, Cher Lloyd is set to release her debut album shortly, if it is as bad as her first single, Swagger Jagger she won’t be lasting long. The singer is already going mental, watch this.
For regular news, reviews and opinions visit our blog
Not So Grim Up N
It has been a busy couple of months since Hey Sholay were featured group have released a limited edition single, which sold out and won Serbia. Abolish Confusion spoke to the band fresh from their Europ lines Festival, the band were clearly in an amusing mood.
The band have been going fo exposure nationally?
We’ve always been really laid world with something unfini we want to do in music/writ have continuity with materia exactly what you do and bein terms, we are very fortunate 4-way adapters… Par examp wearing, that from a distanc
What made you choose to work with Fierce Panda for the first single Crookes influence the decision?
We’ve played with the Crookes a few times now. We admire the fact old fashioned way, touring constantly, getting things out to listener like the idea of boycotting hard work at the moment. They’re probab wearing clogs and using local sausages instead of drumsticks. Perha gig in Kentish Town, our first London show and we had a couple of l bial table of vinyl and Fido Dido vibe street cred. Then Simon from fi and sort of instantly added closure right there and then. And the re seem to be actively searching for new stuff out there, rather than sit know how often they see their dads in blue pigments.
d in our Introducing section of the last issue. The Sheffield/Leeds n a competition through the NME to play the EXIT festival in pean adventure and ahead of their appearance’s at Sheffield’s Tram-
or two years now, have you felt prepared for the recent burst in
d back about our approach, you can’t really try and go out into the ished and confusing. We only really have just decided exactly what ting/film etc, which allows us both to germinate like cress and still al. But you can only really be as prepared as much as knowing ng able to convey it to someone with confidence. So in Layman’s e and completely unprepared for anything, except perhaps losing ple, we found out recently that when your only jeans get wet beyond ce, gaffer taped binliners look exactly like pvc David Bowie trousers.
e release that wasn’t by the band? Did fellow Sheffielder’s The
that they are one of very few bands now that like to do things the rs and really interacting with them when they can. It seems people bly playing somewhere in Eastern Europe right this second, all aps. But as for the Fierce Panda release, we just played a Fandango labels pop down that we were playing footsie with under a proverfierce Panda seemed to actually receive what we were aiming at, esult is brilliant, especially since the release of it, Fierce Panda really tting in the side-lines. Like Jodie Foster in ‘Contact’. Though I don’t
Is it important for you to put creativity ahead of anything in your re when releasing cassettes?
The reason why creativity is put in front of many other things is sim constantly. We all come from a time where mix tapes helped us grow without lifting a spiky arm off a circling vulturous disc. You were for And I think being typecast won’t really be an issue, as it tends to be label ‘Sea Owl’. Perhaps it would be pretty good to be typecast as tha by us, all individual. When you buy merch from an unsigned band, y Mint. What influences the music?
An insatiable appetite for tying sports camera to dogs and letting th really do harbour some form of conspiracy against man, and are pla (like that man’s tooth in Dune). Then again, I suppose they would st apparently explode if you try to make them do a starjump.
A few years back there was a strong indie scene that broke into the m Monkeys, The Cribs and Kaiser Chiefs, do you think that had a posit
It’s always a positive when ears are turned towards a particular area a great deal of copycat variants on a similar theme. It breeds like Eco loses its delicious ability of sustenance due to little things growing o in the eyes of the rest of the fridge, can only store one variety of foo reach around the diary, you may catch a really appealing slice of palm completely individual and just as exciting.
What are your targets for the foreseeable future? Do you have mate releases?
We have material for an album and we are currently communicating follow up.
eleases? Do you find it hard to keep away from being cast as novelty
mply because we become rusty and seize up if we aren’t involved w musically, where you couldn’t skip to the single on a record rced to listen to the composition as a whole. Which is the best way. hardcore bands that release cassettes nowadays. Check out Leeds at. The new vinyl’s are all hand-manufactured too, and the covers you want something limited and special in return for your Royal
hem run loose through the local parts of our town just to see if they anning an epic stand to destroy us all with gas-infused doggy treats tand no chance – not having opposable thumbs. And Alsatians
mainstream in both Sheffield and Leeds with the likes of Arctic tive or negative effect on the cities music scenes?
a because of a success. However, it does, consciously or not harbour oli really. You have a delicious snack treat in the centre, and then it off it of a similar nature. So each section of the fridge, eventually, od it seems. But the best thing about Sheffield you see is that if you ma ham. Something you have to really look for, but nevertheless
erial for an album? Are you looking to Fierce Panda for more
g with peoples via self-destructing cassette tapes in regards to a
How have you found touring? Do you prefer being in the studio? Touring is great, always a challenge. We’re very easy to please when on tour, a bag of oranges to hit our driver with (which is usually me) should suffice. Then we eat them after we’ve finished and prune each other like any marsupial should. Studio is fun as always but of course it can get a little tiresome when you aren’t busy constantly. But we have a good producer in Dave Sanderson at 2Fly. We usually go through the studio process with him before we take tracks out to an audience. And he has a Mega Drive that plays ‘Flight of the Bumble Bee’ in binary, at 700 rpm. Kinda like a Quasar really... If you could tour with any band at the moment, who would it be? Difficult one. We like Ariel Pink’s new vibes, would probably suit. We saw Flaming Lips at Jodrell bank recently, that would be
awesome, though the only thing we would do to compete with their hamster balls and confetti cannons is a roll of T.P stolen from a flat in Serbia and a taxidermy rabbit. What is your biggest achievement so far? Probably ExitFest (though it was more luck) and the Single release. That, and our keyboard player passed his forklift license earlier this year. And he still has’nt even sat in one yet. Even to do the test. He did it with his mind after a chippy dinner. Did you take positives from the EXIT festival? How was the Serbian crowd? They’re great. Very open minded people. Probably our best experience to date yet. They just seem to flock towards something they like the sound of, which is very admirable, and something you don’t get over here. It was very warm, we had a translator, a plane ride with Mick Jones and Rob Halford, and I had to sign a crimson brassier after our set… How would you describe your sound to somebody who hasn’t heard your music? The sound of Wembley stadium, full of rabbits, all attempting to pronounce the word ‘verisimilitude’ whilst on laughing gas at the same time. Bearing in mind they have very limited glottal functionality. Visit the bands Facebook page for everythhing you need to know.
Abolish Confusion RecommendS
It has been an odd year for the festivals this year, there has been both progression and regression. While most major festivals are still in-demand, Reading & Leeds have struggled to sell. There has been a wide-range of acts performing this summer as boys with guitars have taken the backseat for popstars and rappers whilst free festivals have proved to be a success.
Getting Technical The iTunes festival has become a big thing since its modestdays of 2007 when it started. Obviously, with it being run by iTunes, money and contacts are not an issue, 2011’s line-up proved. This is the second year that it has been held at the Roundhouse in Camden, through=out July. Each night hosts two bands, including the likes of Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys and Adele, for competition winners only, mostly via the app on the Apple iPhones/iPads. For those who didn’t win tickets most gigs streamed live on the app via the website, you can then purchase songs through the iTunes store, making money for both Apple and the artists. The technology doesn’t end there, Facebook can be used as photo I.D. and a barcode on the app as the ticket. This is taking things one step further, after the BBC’s multi-media coverage of Glastonbury and T In The Park. It is no bad thing, at all. Does it ruin the ‘festival experience’? Attract the wrong attention? Or does it boost the profile of often overlooked bands?
Some o Pilton F Festival to the s weeken coverag but the it. Or, w jealous
For fifty the BBC a negat coverag the inte stream a lot more. Before the BBC had such an important ro festival never mind headline and ended up being a highligh festival or because there is a lack of headline acts out there? Did Beyonceâ€™s appearance work because it was in-front of a it due to her music and showmanship? Has she paved the w ter?
At Glastonbury there is so much going on, if you donâ€™t want Jay-Z but Beyonce is likely to be more entertaining and inte success stories came from Janelle Monae and her energetic material and Jesse J proved she is more than your average p
of us were lucky enough to get hold of the golden tickets to Farm in June for the much loved Glastonbury l. Whilst they had the time of their lives covered in mud sounds of Beyonce and Coldplay everybody else spent the nd glued to their televisions thanks to the BBC’s constant ge. It might not have the same atmosphere, sat on a sofa e option of daily showers and real food almost made up for we can pretend it did at least and hide away our sy.
y-one weeks of the year the license fee is questionable but C do come up top for their festival footage but it does have tive effect too. Over the last few years the amount of ge has risen dramatically thanks to the ‘red button’ and ernet which has led to the festival reaching into the mainole Beyonce would have never been considered to play the ht for many. Is this because of the commercialisation of the ? Do four boys playing indie tunes make good headliners? a crowd who wouldn’t normally pay to see her play? Or was way for more ‘pop stars’ to take to the festivals? Does it mat-
t to see somebody you don’t need to, whether that is U2 or eresting than the likes of Kaiser Chiefs. Other Glastonbury jazz/funk performance, Mumford & Sons showcase of new pop star.
Just a few days after the Glastonbury mud had washed off cam Wireless Festival came a day headlined by Arcade Fire with a s by the end there was something missing…the sound. Rain mos Arcade Fire closing up, it wasn’t the weather or talent dampen
Hyde Park is situated in central London, surrounded by posh h included the volume. It became a struggle to hear the music an could hear conversations by those stood near louder, making th outdoor events in places where you can’t have the music at a re commented on the ristrictions but the experience has left a ba to have to wait a couple of years to wash it away now The Subu
Black Eyed Peas headlined the following day as part of the Wir atmosphere was more lively and the crowds did actually want t pop group were barely on stage, after Will.I.Am completed a fi other peoples songs before he disappeared whilst a video of th was on the big screen, in full. Fergie then returned to play a so they then dragged out some of their ‘hits’ when there was reall one of the groups last performances before taking a break to w That is a wise choice.
Wireless concluded on the Sunday with a much better day, the music was loud and the bands were great. The night was headl Pulp who played a set covering all areas of their career, Jarvis s had control with witty banter and an enchanting performance. were sets by The Horrors, The Hives and Foals, none of them d weekend finished on a high note.
me a weekend in Hyde Park, London. Before the three day stella support bill, the day should have been a joyous but stly kept away from Owen Pallett opening the event to ning the spirits.
hotels and millionaires who dictate the restrictions which nyway as it was so quiet but that only got worse when you he day very frustrating and unsatisfying. Don’t hold easonable level. Arcade Fire front-man, Win Butler ad taste in the mouth of the bands faithful who are likely urbs tour is at an end.
reless Festival and the sound was just as bad. The to pay attention but the performance was rubbish. The five-minute rap he then ‘DJ’d’ for twenty minutes playing hat awful song by LMFAO ong from a solo album, ly no need to. This was work on other projects.
e sun was shining, the lined by the return of sparkled on-stage as he . Earlier in the day there disappointed and the
Full festival reviews can be found on our blog
Diary: Tramlines Festival 2011 21st July - The Pre-Party Every festival needs a party before it actually gets going, y’know, to warm your ears up for a weekend of music. Sheffield’s third annual free festival Tramlines is no different, the organisers got the city in the mood with a few gigs going on before the weekend began. I chose the Leadmill to catch Saturdays Main Stage headliners, Guillemots. The pre-parties hadn’t really been advertised so i wasn’t sure on the busyness of the nine-hundred capacity venue. Arriving around 8pm, the venue was already filling up with a mixed of all ages covering plenty of stereotypes, this mix screams FREE EVENT. Sheffield crowds are generally unenthusiastic and tonight was no different. As the clock struck eight thirty, the lights came down and some kids walked on stage, fortunately, they weren’t some rogues hi-jacking the event in some end of exams celebration, in fact it was Paul Thomas Saunders, a twenty year old from with floppy hair and a delicate voice. Backed
1 with a band and influenced by icons of yesterday the half hour set was atmospheric and charming. Expect to hear more from these Leeds lot, their talent exceeds their experience. The venue was pretty rammo as nine thirty came, the Guillemots arrived on stage just after and continued to till almost eleven. Guillemots are a band who I should adore but for some reason I never have, I really like the singles, I have the albums but I rarely give them a listen and I would never pay to see them, so with it being free this was there time to impress. Like I said, I only know a handful of songs so the majority of the set was alien to me but i really was impressed. Fyfe Dangerfield isnâ€™t just a brilliant name, he is also a brilliant front man, he has an energetic presence on stage as he switches instruments throughout whilst his vocals stretch from soft to strong with ease, he even tried to get the crowd sing-a-long but they were having non of it. For me the highlights were obviously the singles from the debut album, Made-Up Love Song and Trains To Brazil but I was impressed throughout. I will be giving the albums some listens proving that free festivals are worth something.
22nd July - It begins We’d seen sun and rain all day and the pattern continued into the evening that was largely spend outside. First it was to the ‘New Bands Stage’, well, it will be tomorrow and Sunday but tonight it was homecoming central. Headlined by 80’s synth poppers Heaven 17 were preceded by former Long Blondes singer, Kate Jackson, going solo for her first gig back in the city she lives for three years and to be honest, her solo career will be shorter than her former. Once voted highly as an ‘indie style icon’, now she looks like an ageing wannabe with a voice that was never great in the first place has decreased dramatically. Obviously, it isn’t all about looks, but the songs were rubbish too, I don’t like being mean but this was just cringe worthy. It was like watching Blondie, now, but if they had never made it,
the band members were half the singers age, they looked embarrassed too whilst Kate just looked desperate for fame. After one of the numerous forgetful songs she began listing areas of Sheffield in a search for a cheer, she got a few from the kids in tracksuits. Oh dear. After that disappointment, and it was a disappointment, I was hoping for something good we made the trek up to The Harley. The venue was already getting busy for a night of bands handpicked from popular ‘indie’ website, Drowned In Sound. Trophy Wife were due on, the venue was packed, it was on a one-in-one-out situation by the time Oxford’s finest began. Their set was great, living up to the talk about them.
23rd July - New Bands o’clock With the sun shining from noon ‘til night it was a perfect day to be watching music outside. The day was spend mostly at the Nando’s sponsored New Band’s Stage where you had the City Hall one side and John Lewis the other. The main stage had filled up early, children were queuing early (6am!) to get a glimpse of Olly Murs and Pixie Lott so the over spill headed down to the stage where Drowned In Sound had picked the bands. I’m a hundred per cent sure the over-dressed kids hadn’t heard of any of the bands playing but they did get into them, sometimes it got a little annoying. First off I caught Scottish rock by Copy Haho who were a nice surprise. Their charming banter and delicate rock fitted in perfectly with the afternoon sun. Following Copy Haho were new-boys Spector who were playing one of their first gigs out of London. Fronted by former member of Les Incompetants and Ox.Eagle.Lion.Man Fred McPhearson who has tweaked his vocals and song writing to something a lot more saleable whilst
keeping unique. The band looked sharp in their grey suits and indie-dlyic hair cuts looking pleased with themselves as they caught the attention of the passing Sheffielders. Fred’s on-stage banter was dead-pan and brought laughs but it was the music that really did the talking, each song was memorable, simple and obvious, and that is why it worked. Young Legionnaire were next to appear on the New Band Stage, the band might be new but they members have been around a while. The singer and guitar duties fell to Paul Mullen of The Automatic and Your Code Name Is: Milo fame and Bloc Party’s Gordon Moakes on bass. The band were loud and heavy, although there was little in the way of a decent hook, their talent shone through with early Biffy Clyro in glimpse whilst they drowned out the sounds of conversations in the crowd about Amy Winehouse’s death which was spreading quickly.
The outdoor stage was gaining bigger crowds as the time passed and by the time that more Scots arrived on stage in the form of Dananananayroyd arrived the place was full. I would never listen to the shouty six-pieceâ€™s albums but they are always great live. The band have two frontmen who work tirelessly between stage and crowd to keep energy up, whilst the band begin to play, the two vocals are already down at the front, hugging each member of the front row whilst security looked on in fear. The music doesnâ€™t really matter when you have that much energy on-stage as they encourage the crowd to dance and crowd surf with care, on a number of occasions they created circle pits in the crowd themselves and crowd surf. It is rare to see a band so fearless amongst their own crowds, so smiley on stage, you can see how much fun they are having and that energy rubs off. The crowd clapped when the band clapped, they sang when the band sang, the perfect festival band.
The stage was then set for the headliners, Los Campesinos! who had an hour of back-to-back fierce pop infront of a large crowd. The Welsh contingent are renowned for their live sets and lived up to all expectations as they performed material from their two and a half albums as well as showcasing a song from the forthcoming record. Xlyphone hitting singer, Gareth thanked the organisers for the well run festival as well as the brave council for allowing the festivities to go ahead in the city centre. The crowd reacted to the set with enthusiasm, adding extra vocals to the eight pieceâ€™s textured pop, hanging onto every word on broken hearts and bad behaviour (not in a Jedward sense). Highlights included the awfully honest The Sea Is A Good Place To Think About The Future, You! Me! Dancing! and the concluding Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks which ended accepella style before the crowds left for sleep or a drink.
24th July - Last Stop Waking up on Sunday wasn’t easy and I was glad the it was the last day of the festival, not because it wasn’t enjoyable, not at all, it was more that my body could not take much more. I ended up only going in to see Xcerts who were on the New Band Stage where Sheffield’s very own Rolo Tomassi chose the line-up. The two thirds Scottish, one third Essex band were decent but lacked tunes. I then went home and rested, leaving behind good memories from a weekend that Sheffiekd can be proud of. With great weather, brilliant bands and a nice atmosphere, all for free, I think we are on to a winner and i’’m sure next years will be even bigger. Hopefully August will bring sunshine for the last leg of the festival season, whether that is Reading & Leeds, Field Day, Y Not or any of the other ones taking place.
With Every Broken Heart We Should Become More Adventurous LA folk-pop piece Rilo Kiley have announced they are no longer planning to make music together. The groups last album was released in 2007 so it was’t much of a shock. The quartet were one of Saddle Creek’s most successful bands but the downfall was obvious. Whilst some members have been waiting around, singer Jenny Lewis had already spread her wings the furthest. After success with her solo records she then began working with her new love, Jonathan Rice who is already a celebrated singersongwriter. The couple met through their friend and label mate, Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes, who had been working on Jonathan’s album. They go under the name, Jenny & Johnny, the Jedward naming process just wouldn’t have had the same effect. With folk inspired backgrounds they moved on to the surf pop sounds of sixties America and with help from Bright Eyes, they were able to introduce themselves to new audiences recently with a support slot throughout Europe and they did not disappoint. Their as twee as they come, quirky on-stage banter and delicate songs warmed up the spectators nicely. Rilo Kiley might be gone but if the other members are as busy and successful as Jenny then we will have lots of quality floating around. I’m Having Fun Now, the debut album from Jenny & Johnny is out now on Warner Bros.
Count In (Top) Fives
It was just four years ago when Strange House, the debut album from five young boys from Southend was released. Collectively th odd looking bunch, with an exaggerated style were known as The Horrors and many doubted their career would be still going before the year ended. Often the band were criticised for style ov substance as their jeans were tight, hair was tall and their faces were coated in make-up, making their look stronger than their 60 inspired music. Strange House is loud, vicious, unpleasant at tim but underneath the shouty vocals and screeching instruments there was tunes. Then, two years later the band shocked everybod not just their critics but their fans too as not only did they releas a second album, Primary Colours, but it was a masterpiece, far re the psychedelic 60â€™s sound, a relaxed approach, the music was cri was sharper, they were no longer the in-joke in the industry as do their own words.
Another two years passed, Primary Colours collected plaudits wo band toured country to country whilst each member had their fin on the side too, new bands, dj-ing, producing, their creative side Guitarist Josh, who was known for his experimental side, he use about with guitar pedals to get the right sound, he took things on further and built a studio in Dalston, where the band would record
dy, se emoved from isper, the look oubters ate
orldwide as the ngers in bits never stopped. ed to mess ne step a third album.
After hiding in the East London studio the band came out with Skying, another step in the right way and the album earned incredible reviews, the first single gained airplay on Radio 1 and excessive play on music channels on the television. The album reached number five in the charts. This was unthinkable just a few years back. Thereâ€™s plenty left in them too, they are still only in their early twenties. Skying is available now through XL Records. Visit their website for tour dates.
o i s u f n o C Abolish
Louisiana based five-piece Givers are about take over the world with a bundle of fun that fits in well with their infection pop. Before the domination prevails we caught up with the band to find out what they have in-store after getting hooked on the joyous single, Up Up Up. How would you describe your sound to those who are yet to hear Givers? Imagine the 3 year old love child of David Byrne and Dirty Projectors that’s had Stevie Nicks as its nanny and Andre 3000 as a godfather. That’s what we might consider ourselves, on a good day. Who do you consider to be your major influences, musically? David Byrne/Talking Heads, Dirty Projectors, Stevie Nicks, Andre 3000, as well as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Adrian Orange (amazing songwriter). Everyone in the band has a different dimension of influences, that’s what make us sound the way we do. Do you find environment and locations as inspirations?
Yes and no. A lot of the songs that we play now were born in odd, seemingly uninspiring places, a jam at a bar, the shower, at a cluttered desk. Writing these songs in these kind of places showed us you can find and create anywhere, that you don’t need some beautiful view to find beauty.
g n i c u d o r on Int We do however appreciate being out in nature just to hang out. The quiet time out of the city brings a certain balance to our brains. The single, Up Up Up is a perfect uplifting summer song, does the album have a similar vibe? This is another yes and no. There are some other bright uplifting songs on the album for sure, but one thing weâ€™re proud of is how balanced the feel of the record is. There is a meditative nature found in the songs like Noche Nada, Go Out at Night, and Atlantic that we love. Are you more comfortable on a stage or in the studio? Both have their own beauty for sure. Studio is about shaping sound over a course of a few weeks/months and how much love and care you can put into it in that time youâ€™ve allowed yourself. Playing live is about how much love you can put into that one moment. Both are great really.
What can we expect from a typical Givers live show? Expectations are like...thieves. They will either rob you or try to sell you some bullshit. We play every show like it means the world to us, because it does. How do you feel about the role the internet plays in music now-a-days? We feel great. Most of the music that we love we’ve found on the internet. There is so much music out there without the internet to deliver it, the world would implode. If you could tour with any band who would it be? So bizarre answering this question, we actually got to tour with our dream band, Dirty Projectors, on our first tour. Doing shows with David Byrne would be another dream scenario. What do you have planned for the rest of 2011? We’ll be focused on bringing the live show to as many people as we can so we’ll be on tour a lot of the year. In Light, the bands debut album is out now on Glassnote. Visit their MySpace to hear their music and when you can catch them live.
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Givers DNA: We asked the band what five songs inspire their sound? 1) Talking Heads: Girlfriend is Better 2) Dirty Projectors: Imagine It 3) Adrian Orange: Question Love Answer 4) Red Hot Chili Peppers: I Like Dirt 5) Outkast: Da Art of Storytellin (part 1)
S.C.U.M. The Horrors have paved away for a new wave of experimental bands, especially in East London but these youngsters were already making dark-dreamy pop whilst their elders were still playing psychedelic punk. The links don’t stop their, The Horrors’ synth master, Tom produced their early work whilst Rhys, The Horrors bass player is the older brother of S.C.U.M.’s Huw (who played in The Horrors when their guitarist was taking exams). It isn’t just about creating noise with these youngsters, it is visual too. Their gigs feel haunting as they use projectors to create an atmosphere that fits with their style and eerie music. The five-piece release their debut album Again Into Eyes this September on Mute. The band have been playing regularly in London for over three years, this autumn they have billed as the main support for the nationwide NME Radar tour. Full details can be found here.
Spector It must be interesting being Fred Macpherson, once the singer of London rascals Les Incompetents but gained fame for dating one of the Geldof daughters. Once she moved on to a Horror the papps left and the 23 year old started a new group to occupy the East End hipsters. His harsh, operatic vocals didn’t catch on and Ox.Eagle.Lion.Man. ended quicker than Fred’s on-off relationship with Peaches. His music career is far from over, not by the sounds of Spector anyway, It is only early days but with pure indie pop tunes as catchy as anything in the top ten and an image even sharper, things are looking up for the man that won’t quit. The bands debut single, Never Fade Away is available on iTunes, released on Luv Luv Luv.
Florrie Florrie first appeared on our blog in February 2010, the future popstar once sat in the back-seat as the drummer of Xenomania, the team behind Girls Aloudâ€™s songwriting. With that and her pop idol looks there was little chance of failure. Florrie has kept her material well guarded since annoucing her launch but what we have heard so far has impressed. Single, Begging Me captures the on-trend 80â€™s synth beats but with a modern twist, it is available now on Kitsune. Discover more here. Ben Howard You might have heard Devon singer-songwriter Ben Howard on the radio and television with his Communion released single The Old Pine but there is a lot more to the former surfer than that shown in the single. At just twenty-four the solo artist has built up a fan-base thanks to support from Radio 1 Introducing and constant touring. Ben is set to release his debut album, Every Kingdom via Island Records on 3rd October, expect more than your just the general acoustic folky vibes. Full details are here.
Kyla La Grange Feeling the void Florence Welch has left whilst building her career in the States? Bored of Adeleâ€™s dull ballads? Pining for another Kate Bush type? Well, if you are then you are in luck, Watfordâ€™s Kyla La Grange (the least Watford sounding name thinkable) really hits the spot. Haunting vocals and distorted guitars set her apart from the likes of Florence and Anna Calvi as she uses the platform they set but created her own identity to become something fresh and exciting. Her single, Been Better is out now on Chess Club Records, head over to her website for some treats.
Love on the Camden Town is iconic. It is an area in North London that attracts odd balls and tourists everyday, but what for? It has a heritage, deep into music’s past but that seems to be all it has now, a gimmick for the ‘alternatives’, making ‘alternative’ normal, you could say… There is more to Camden than the punks who hang by the tube stations trying to flog drugs to naive tourists, the vintage shops with over-priced garments and the novelty shops. It is somewhere you head to as a sixteen year old on your visits to London without the parents, it opens the eyes of young teens with the diversity it offers, but once turned eighteen and legally allowed to visit the promised land, you feel disappointed. It is as commercial as Oxford Street on weekends, but on a week day it has a lot more to offer. On Saturdays and Sundayd it is virtually impossible to wander through the markets in the day time as tourists pose for photos, blocking the narrow pathways, in the evening the ‘alternative’ vibes disappear as the place becomes a holiday home for Essex types on Friday and Saturday. The Ice Warf, one of few Lloyds Bars that is generally pleasant, but it loses that experience when the over-thetop security staff guard the doors and dance music is played way too loud, ruining the experience of one of few places in NW1 to serve pints for less than £4. Head down the high street where you feel exposed to intimidation where hoods patrol the pavements for drunken targets as you pass over-filled pubs and bars. You then
Northern Line witness the queues of (I don’t like using this word, and it is unfair to label everybody with it) ‘chavs’ acting lairy outside of the Electric Ballroom on a Saturday, on a Friday it is likely to be full of goths and metal kids, quite a contrast. On a Friday, at the decadent and quite beautiful venue, Koko is jam packed with lads and over-priced drinks at Club NME where you are likely to hear a fair few Kings Of Leon and Kaiser Chiefs songs as well as the obvious indie songs that have cursed dancefloors for the last ten years. Don’t get me wrong, there are some nice places if you fancy a drink, The Wheelbarrow and The Black Heart are my favourites. Monday to Friday is a completely different story. Without the ridiculous amount of tourists knocking about it makes strolls through the markets so much nicer. Generally they can be hit and miss but if you enjoy trawling through the rails, you might just find a gem. Then there’s the food, Camden offers so much diversity in the way of food and nice prices but avoid the food area in the markets, however enticing it looks and smells, it never tastes as good and there a plenty of better places. In the evening, you are likely to get a seat in The Hawley Arms and Loch Tavern which you’d not be able to do at the weekend, but head down to The Wheelbarrow for free music every night. It might not live up to your sixteen year old self, but avoid the weekend and you will have a good time.
ABOLISH CONFUSION INVES Singer-songwriter Neil Cousin talk to Abolish Confusion about five albums that influence his sound. Leonard Cohen - Death of a Ladies’ Man
This is one of Cohen’s less well known albums, and these trac his ‘greatest hits’ volumes. It’s produced by Phil Spector, and sound overall, it also sounds a bit rickety and almost untidy in credit to ‘John & Pete’s liquor store’.). The overall result is of out by some boozy orchestra whilst Cohen provides the poetr naivety on this album really appealed to me. It’s like being sho see how it’s being done, but still finding it captivating even so
Johnny Cash - Live at Folsom Prison
Johnny Cash recorded this album live one of the first records I remember h radiogram all the time. By 5 or 6 I cou what it all meant. Now I listen to that doors slamming and the appreciation hard to define and hard to capture on magical extra element.
cks donâ€™t generally appear on any of whilst itâ€™s got the trademark Spector n places (the sleeve notes include a some brilliant songs being churned ry. The mixture of opulence and own a magic trick and being able to o.
e in a prison, as the title suggests. Strange then that this is hearing at home as a toddler. My mum used to have it on the uld sing along to all the words, although I had no idea really album and itâ€™s got amazing atmosphere: you can hear cell n of the inmates for the performance. That type of feeling is n record, but every great record should have that sort of
The Velvet Underground and Nico - The Velvet Undergroun
If people ask me, ‘what’s your favourite album ever?’ I always this didn’t exist, then I don’t know what I’d say. I first heard th probably not very cool. I played it on a cassette tape over and volume, sometimes 2 or 3 times in a row. It still scares me how
Walt Disney - The Aristocats Origin
Thomas O’Malley from this film was had the record and can’t recall ever h who is ineffably cool. I looked up to him, it would be like meeting Lou Re the best fictional cat there has ever b
The Cure – Standing on a Beach (Singles and B-Sides 1978-
I was never a goth myself, but when I was younger I used to h they got busy. I don’t normally like compilations but the fact t is actually perfect for the Cure, because they were always a po shows that you can make catchy pop records and still be as w that the simplest approach is often the most effective. It’s ima there are always great hooks in the songs combined with a de can’t touch.
nd and Nico
say this one, without hesitation. If his when I was about 15, and d over again n headphones at high w good it is now.
a big influence on me as a youngster (although I only ever having seen the film itself). He is a jazz rebel, an outsider him, and never really lived up to his standard. If you met eed and Miles Davis and Frank Sinatra rolled into one. He is been.
help them out now and then when that this is a singles compilation op band above everything else. It weird as you like, and a reminder aginative and occasionally silly, but epth that most other pop groups Cousinâ€™s album, Bonfire is due out in the Autumn.
Children of the midnineties
Cam be w foo We foll sing you the cam
Wh tale talk hys ven hap hea foll ear
mden four-piece Tribes are proving to worthy of their hype with every ot-step. After the success of radio hit, e Were Children the band are set to low-up with the elegantly messy second gle, Sappho. The guitar heavy ungsters have been labelled ‘grunge’ but ey relate more to the indie scene that me with The Libertines.
here some bands mouth off about their ents, Tribes have let the tunes do the king. Their live shows have caused steria with each tour, visiting bigger nues and selling out with crowds leaving ppy, don’t be surprised to see the band adline Brixton Academy next summer lowing the release of the album Baby rly next year.
e video for Sappho can be viewed here.
As the theme of the W around grew-up when
We were the first to w phones), the rise in ‘c (Live ‘n’ Kicking/SM: the Playstation) and t ears up to all sounds that HMV previously never stocke
We saw the world change on September 11th 2001 when changing the iconic New York skyline forever, we were the ones who saw popular culture change with the faultless debut album from The Strokes, the first series of Big Brother that launched reality tv and the pioneering social network beginnings withMySpace. There is a lot to tell our grandkids. We get to hear about Bowie, The Beatles, The Stones by our elders, we’ll pass on stories of The Libertines playing gigs in flats, Eminem reinventing hip hop, The White Stripes bringing back the blues and Green Day altering punk. We were the last to be able to play out in the summer holidays without the Daily Mail scaremongering stories of paedo’s hiding in woods, where the sun shone everyday and there was no fear on the streets.
We Were Children EP the band, like many others n us at Abolish Confusion did too, in the nineties.
witness the growth in technology (internet/mobile celebrityâ€™, we lived for Saturday morning television :TV), the rise of video game consoles (Megadrive to the first to have access to illegal music, opening our ed.
n two planes hit Americaâ€™s most famous landmark,
Abolish Confusion Recommends Nebraska based record label Saddle Creek emerged in the 90â€™s thanks to a scene of varied genres and influences, determination and talent
Saddle Creek has become one of the most ethical and well respected labels out their, offering great deals for both the fan and the artist Greed is not a word to associate with this lot. www.saddle-creek.com
ABOLISH CONFUSION INVESTIGATES Electro duo Explorers chose music videos that influence their sound, click away to see some musical and visual treats. 1. Big Country - Restles Natives 2. ELO - Secret Messages 3. Daft Punk - Around The World 4. Phoenix - Too Young 5. Underworld - Jumbo
To hear the sounds of Explorers, check out their Soundcloud
Up Your Viva
I try to avoid writing negatively, what’s the point in slagging p be nice. But then there is Brother, or should I say Viva Brother music is rubbish, that is pretty obvious, but there is a lot of ru out there, it is their fake image and attitude that really grind my gears, actually, I wouldn’t go that far, they are j
Only a couple of years back they had fringes covering their eye touring the country as an emo band, under the name, Kill The then arrive in the NME with dodgy hair cuts, fake bravados an selves Brother, only for another name change to take place six A Celtic rock band share the name and tried to take the Staine court, their see-through ego’s can’t deal with that so they just the start of it, obviously. To be fair, the original Brother hail fr and one of the members goes by the name of DiggeriDrew, the
Like I said, their music is irrelevant, I’d put them in a category watch or read interviews and cringe, they constantly claim to b their puppet master (major record label) are making them do t
If you are going to promise to write rock anthems for the mass and a tedious image. They tried to be an American emo band a class lads is failing too, they are becoming worse actors than th your own music please don’t have a go at other bands, especial Their album, Famous Last Words is out now, save your money
people off, lets r now. Their ubbish bands
just a joke.
es and Arcade. They nd call themx months on. es massive to added Viva rom Australia ey are probably brilliant going by that. Winners.
y with The Feeling and Hard Fi, bad pop and try-hards. But, just be cocky whilst stumbling and stutter through the sentence like things they are uncomfortable with.
ses then please deliver, do not come out with forgetful chorus’ and failed, now their attempts at being a band for the working he cast of Hollyoaks, and if you then can’t get attention through lly ones who aren’t really bothered by you. Grow up. and don’t bother with it.
The Suburbs on Screen by Kate Dunstone Even though the majority of people living in Europe have no experience of living in, or even visiting, America’s sprawling suburbs they have become part of popular imagination through their use in films, books and music. They symbolise uniformity, safety and dullness, making them the perfect backdrop for weird goings on. Arcade Fire’s 2010 album ‘The Suburbs’ chronicles teenage life in the suburbs from the perspective of someone close enough to remember, but far enough away to see all the good and bad. The release of the accompanying Spike Jonze directed short film ‘Scenes from the Suburbs’ has inspired me to put together a short list of my favourite examples of the suburbs on the screen.
Jake Gyllenhaal’s Donnie navigates all the triumphs and pitfall and deciphering cryptic messages from a large, frightening rab the golf course to the house party, provides the perfect, totall classic. Bonus Fact Arcade Fire string arranger Owen Pallett provided film ‘The Box’. It is also a suburbs-set mind warping curiosity, b
ls of teenage life in the suburbs, surviving school, dating girls bbit. The 1980s setting, with classic suburban backdrops from ly normal environment for a mind warping time travel
d the music for Donnie Darko director Richard Kellyâ€™s third but it is no Donnie Darko.
Edward Scissorhands The story of an eternal misfit at odds with the sameness of the suburbs, Tim Burton’s ‘Edward Scissorhands’ encapsulates the goth/alternative/whatever experience of growing up in a hostile environment. Edward’s sensitivity and naivety contrast with the darkness below the surface of the suburbs, and despite acceptance from his adopted family things don’t stay good for long. You don’t have to be an unfinished automaton to identify with Edward’s story of loneliness, alienation and longing.
The Virgin Suicides Based on the Jeffrey Eugenides novel and set in the affluent suburbs of 1970s Detroit ‘The Virgin Suicides’ follows a group of boys as they attempt to make sense of their tragic neighbours the Lisbon sisters. Director Sofia Coppola summons a woozy summer in the suburbs, with the sisters the subject of stifling suburban gossip as their overprotective parents force them to become more and more withdrawn. A beautiful period piece, as well as a tender account of female coming of age, ‘The Virgin Suicides’ also boasts two soundtracks, with 70s tracks from Heart and 10CC and original music from Air.
The ‘Burbs The ‘Burbs is one of the ultimate suburban comedies, with Tom Hanks becoming consumed by suspicions about his strange new neighbours. The film plays on the darkness beneath the facade of the most super normal suburbs, and the eccentricities of the people who live there, as everyman Ray Peterson joins with his Vietnam vet neighbour and a local teenager to investigate their peculiar neighbours, the Klopeks. If you’re looking for a classic 80s dark suburban psychocomedy starring Corey Feldman, you’ve found it.
Scenes from the Suburbs Written by Spike Jonze, with Arcade Fire’s Win and Will Butler, ‘Scenes from the Suburbs’ takes direct inspiration from ‘The Suburbs’, as well as time spent hanging out with the film’s teenage protagonists. Set in dystopian suburbs controlled by the military a group of bored friends ride around on bikes, fire BB guns and shoot the breeze, until the pressure of growing older and finding their place in the world begins to pull them apart. Along with cameos from the band, ‘Scenes from the Suburbs’ obviously features amazing music and provides a visual accompaniment to an already rather cinematic album.
Itâ€™s The End Of Th World As W The Rupert Murdoch/News Int. story seemed to get old very quickly despite new revelations popping up by the hour, the story will continue to roll on, more papers, journalists, celebrities, politicians, innocent victims will get dragged down, the British media will change immensely, it has to now. The story has been told numerous times, by those who know a lot more than we do. i have never even bought the News Of The World and the few occasions I read The Sun or The Times are when i find one on the train. There are issues with most media outlets, it is just a matter of who gets caught out. But, for me, it was the smooth timing of Murdochâ€™s sales of failing socialnetworking site MySpace that got me. The sale had nothing to do with
the scandal that got brought up at an untimely moment for News Int who were hoping to seal the deal to buy out BSkyB. That move is now not happening but it would have been disastrous if it actually did, News Int already own too much media, they could say whatever they wanted, do what they want, their power and wealth dangerous. They became more powerful than any politician or police force. In June it was revealed that Murdoch sold MySpace for a fraction of the cost he paid a few years ago as it was at its peak. Since then Facebook and Twitter have taken over the social networking market, but they never fulfilled the service that MySpace provided. It has played a pivotal role in online music. Since the take-over of MySpace
he (News Of The) We Know It the site has gone downhill at a rapid pace, at one time bands used the site rather than building there own, allowing them to reach their fans easier and closer whilst giving new bands a platform, now MySpace is becoming defunct. But what sparked the sale? The fee that it went for was nothing in comparison to what it was bought for, did News Int really need the cash or were they releasing their assets to allow them to free their market share to buy BSkyB? Surely he must have known the site was losing control of its market, he is one of the richest business man about, why would he buy a failing brand. Maybe he wanted access to everybody’s information, i don’t just been the users favourite hobbies or bands,
but significant content could be posted on the site that he had access too. MySpace was revolutionary and not only for the music side. It was the first major social networking site allowing users to blog, which has expanded massively in to some what of a phenomenon. They also had bulletins which are what Facebook copied for status’. A community was built up over time but the idea wore thin as it’s users got older and technology by-passed the site. With new owners and Justin Timberlake behind the brand, they are going to have to perform miracles for it to not fall deeper into the past. These thoughts are my cynical speculation but I feel the sale got overlooked, maybe it needs investigating, like the rest of the super brand...
F O R K
Some cities get recognition for their musical heritage, Manchester (Joy Division, Happy Mondays and Oasis), Liverpool (The Beatles, Jerry & the Pacemakers and The Coral) and obviously London with maybe the richest of the lot, from the punks to the mods, poets to the pop idols but one city gets overlooked continuously, Sheffield. The northern city, famed for its cutlery, an industry that faded away in the eighties but the creative side is still vibrant. Although there might not be a mass of bands that do make it from the humble South Yorkshire border, the ones that do are ones of a kind, pioneers. Joe Cocker, Human League, Def Leppard, Pulp and Arctic Monkeys all sound not only completely different to each other (with generations separating some) but also from anything happening at the time, setting trends, not copying them.
This summer, Arctic Monkeys are back with a fourth album, some festival appearances and two nights back in Sheffield. They might be South Yorkshireâ€™s indie darlings for this generation but the one preceding look up to the odd lot, Pulp. Grouped amongst Brit Pop, a sub-culture for guitar driven chart music but Jarvis and co. were the outcasts of the outcasts and they are back. After a few years away they reformed, more popular than ever, earning rave reviews and a new generation of fans, Arctic Monkeys fans. Whilst the younger ones have
always tipped their hat to former Pulp member, Richard Hawley, yet they have rarely spoke of Pulp. The bands performance at Wireless Festival was great but felt hard to attach to the songs, Jarvis is a brilliant front-man, energetic, charming, funny and as enthusiastic as anyone half his age but his raggedy grey hair, unkept facial hair were a barrier to connecting to his lyrics. It looked he should be teaching me about oxbow rivers at times. On the other end, Arctic Monkeys, a band who have grown up at the same time as our generation, witnessing them go from empty rooms to headlining festivals, writing songs documenting on everyday life, looking like everyday kids. Whilst on stage Alex Turner might not have the dominating personality of Jarvis but he engages his followers with the music. The trend that immediately followed Arctic Monkeys got swept aside whilst they marched through, did things their own way which they have been rewarded for. Arctic Monkeys fourth album, Suck It and Sea is out now on Domino Records and catch them at V Festival whilst Pulp are set to headline Reading and Leeds Festival. Follow Abolish Confusion for our latest finds
K N I F E
It’s been over a decade since Eminem became a household name, two generations of hip-hop have passed and popular culture has been turned upside down, caught off guard, shocked and disturbed more times than Em has dissed an A-lister. The late nineties were in a lull when it came to cutting edge music, everything was safe and clean. The old-skool hip-hop of the eighties never left the eighties, rising stars Jay-Z and Snoop Dogg struggled to break into the mainstream and become ‘stars’ like they are today. Eminem was different, yes he was a brat, full of angst and anger but he was white and he used that minor (major) detail to his advantage. Obviously hiphop is a dominantly black genre which allowed him to play the outcast role and make fun of himself and his perceptions but the major players in the music industry are white, the kids at school looking for icon to annoy their parents with are white, Eminem was someone they could try to relate to. Slim Shady was Eminem’s bit on the side, if you like but Eminem was the character of Marshall Mathers, do we know where they cross over?
Icon Of A
Confusing, eh! Love him or hate him, you can’t deny his talent, he took risks that most wouldn’t even consider, My Name Is was the first of many hits singles he’s had. His material has grown with him, lyrically they cover everything from popular
culture to politics to his personal life (well, Eminem’s personal life, if that is even real). His debut shocked as it felt like it came from nowhere, but he’d been struggling in the Detroit rap scene years, battle against everybody because of the colour of his skin which only made him stronger. NWA were one of the first hip-hop pioneers so when Dr Dre, once of NWA, now solo artist, producer and label owner picked Eminem up, guided him and helped him, playing a pivotal roll in the success. It was Em’s second record, The Marshall Mathers LP that really showed his potential with some masterpieces on the record including Stan, maybe one of his best. This album followed in a similar vein to the debut but the third LP, The Eminem Show was a step-up, a solid group of songs that took a new direction, it was more mature, both musically and lyrically. It is a perfect record, taking hip-hop to another level, songs like White America are a snap shot of what was happening at the time, with a slight tongue-in-cheek message, using the perception of himself as a target from parents and society. There are few musicians who get blamed for the behaviour of a generation, it was ridiculous, Eminem knew it and joked about it. After The Eminem Show his material took a dip as he battled prescription drug addictions whilst he had paved a way for hip-hop to reach mainstream, Jay-Z and Snoop Dogg capitalised on this whilst Kanye West took hip-hop to pop. Even in the UK things began to change as Dizzee Rascal was reaching out from the underground grime scene, paving the way for likes of N-Dubz and Tinie Tempah. You could credit the Detroit MC for inspiring Arctic Monkeys and The Streets too. It is good to see Eminem back to his best with last years, Recovery and the recent collaboration with former enemy Royce da 5’9’’ going under the name Bad Meets Evil. Eminem is due to headline this years V Festival.
Greed or Green
It isn’t just the Giggs’ brothers using the media to hang out their dirty laun there are some floppy haired Mancunian’s who mastered the sibling rivalry time ago. Press conferences aren’t something you generally associate with bands, especially nowadays with the number of media outlets that they can and control, away from being grilled by journalists with awkward, non-mus related questions. It was a bit odd when Noel Gallagher decided to announ details of his solo career in-front of a room of journalists. Noel is a clever a funny fella (unlike his brother) and is likely to handle questions from the p with ease but the inevitable questions surrounding the split of Oasis and h relations with Liam had not been answered by him, is the unveiling of his f plans the place to do that?
Obviously, three questions in and the topic comes up. Noel opens up, humble and honestly about the argument that ended the group and this is the interesting part. Like a lot of musicians, Liam has attached his name to a fashion label, with unoriginal designed clothes at a high price. The argument was because Noel didn’t want Liam to advertise his clothes in the bands programme. Programme! PROGRAMME!!! What kind of rock bands sell programmes at gigs? I doubt even Kings Of Leon do that, they have lighters and pants on their merch stalls but programmes. Surely the LADs who turn up to their over-priced gigs would rather spend ten quid on a couple of pints than some glossy photos of the band. Teenage girls happily depart with their pocket money t over Justin Bieber but Oasis fans, really? They aren’t exactly pretty boys. M is to help the other faceless band members get spotted for once.
Also, even if Liam’s Pretty Green label didn’t manage to get the advertisem space that the younger brother demanded i’m sure some global brands wer there somewhere. Rock and roll.
ndry, y a long rock n use sic nce and press his future
to lust Maybe it
ment re in
Putting the pop in punk The reformation of bands who had split for all sorts of reasons was trending a few years back, Blink 182 jumped on the bandwagon after the near death experience of their drummer, putting their differences aside. The band split when greed took over from friend, their projects after Blink didnâ€™t really have the same success. They got back together two years back, toured America whilst starting to write new material, they took a year to head over to Europe where the band had great success the first time round, choosing to ignore the continent initially did not go down well. With an arena tour and headlining slots at Reading & Leeds last summer the band played a best of set to their ageing UK fans who saw straight through their money grabbing attitude. They were then due to return to the UK this month for festival appearances but cancelled the shows as the new album, which they started on two years ago was not complete. Only a couple of weeks after those said UK dates the band head out across America for the Warp Tour. What a nice way to treat the loyal fans who stuck by them, made them popular and still showed interested after splitting. They have released their first new song and it just sounds like a mess, the same sound that they were playing in their early twenties but full of grey hairs and ageing ideas.
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Many thanks to those who contributed, supported and helped but this together. We are very grateful for the bands, PR’s, labels and management for taking time out to respond to our requests and of course give us music we love. Words by Matty Pinder (unless stated) Images by Roshan Singh, Kate Dunstone, Lyndsay Warner and those we ‘borrowed’ from various sources (we would love to credit you if we knew your names!) Designed and edited by Matty Pinder If you like what we do, want to get involved, tell us a secret, send abuse or present, you can do by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org