Scooter

January 30, 2009

Something which really does have to be shared, quite possibly the best dance ever. I was shown this last week at a party and it has become the mission of my friends and I to learn this dance before we go travelling Europe. For those of you who don’t know Scooter they’re a fairly awful band, but that’s all the fun of it! The singer looks fairly scary, like a modern-day viking. But anyway, the dance!

This song is called ‘Jumping All Over The World’, and it’s a pretty cheesy song but look at the dancing! I can’t believe the choreography in it, at first I thought it was just random dancing until you realise they’re all doing it in unison – and pretty well too.

There’s various ‘how-to’ videos on the interweb showing you how to perfect these moves, which I will probably be watching with intent at some point soon. The current plan is to learn the dance and go to a rave in Germany, then bust out the moves! There will probably be a lot of other people there doing the dance who are better than me and the people I’m with but it won’t matter, unless they’re doing a completely different dance and we look outdated and ‘uncool’.

Nevertheless, I will learn this dance by August and make lots of friends in Germany…hoorah!

Another Scooter video to feature the dance, look at them go!


ISPs Not To Disconnect Music Pirates

January 26, 2009

Another move in favour of illegal music downloads comes upon us today, with the government aborting plans to introduce new laws forcing ISPs (internet service providers) to ban users found downloading music illegally.

Intellectual Property Minister, David Lammy, said the plans had been scrapped as they were too complex and that both ISPs and the music industry have yet to reach a decision on music piracy. He also stated illegal music downloaders should not be arrested.

British Telecom released this statement: “We’re still hopeful that an amicable solution, without the need for legislation, can be reached. It doesn’t make sense to try to get people online and at the same time scare them away.”

This news comes only a few weeks after the RIAA announce they’re no longer prosecuting illegal music downloaders, leaving the music industry wide open to piracy without any threats now from ISPs or the music business in general. It is true something has to be done about the internet piracy, but it’s always going to be a factor. There is no way in policing the internet and as such people will take advantage of it, however despite the relative anonymity the world wide web allows, someone will always know who/where you are.

Now though it seems even if your ISP does know who you are and that you’re downloading music they’re not going to do anything about it, and neither is the music industry. Free music for all!


Albums That Deserve A Listen #2

January 23, 2009

This album is possibly one of my favourite albums ever, not because it’s musically perfect or that it defines a genre in any specific way – but because I like every song on it. That’s basically it, each song is a winner and it’s a crime to have not heard it for this reason. The album I’ll be reviewing is Billy Talent’s self-titled album.

Released in 2003, Billy Talent is the second LP from the Canadian band (the first being Watoosh! under the old band name Pezz) and has gone platinum 3 times in their home country of Canada. This is some feat for a band deemed post-hardcore/punk rock, but alas Billy Talent aren’t what you’d expect from either of these genres.

Opening song This Is How It Goes is possibly one of the best opening songs to an album I’ve heard, simply for the almighty noise that hits you when it really kicks in. Little wonder then that the band use this song to open their live shows. Benjamin Kowalewicz’s vocals are simply incredible with his almost supersonic pitch wailing and screaming, songs fuelled with aggression but also other deep emotions which become apparent later into the album. The first single Try Honesty is a slower song than This Is How It Goes and not as ‘shouty’, Kowalewicz shows off his ability to sing as well his screaming skills. This song is a true singalong at any of their live shows, any fan will most likely be able to recite you the lyrics.

Possibly the fastest/angriest song on the album is that of Line And Sinker. Opening with the screams of ‘what you see is what you get’, this song is a great song to drive to if you’re feeling slightly annoyed by something. The drumwork and guitaring on this song too is tremendously tight, the band play so well together it’s obvious they’ve been doing this for many years. The Ex is one of those ‘we can all relate to this’ songs, about one of Kowalewicz’s ex-girlfriends who seemingly screwed him over, and he isn’t very happy about it. The song though has a true singalong chorus, live shows aren’t complete without it. The third song to be released from the album is River Below, which has one of the catchiest tunes you’re likely to hear. Billy Talent definitley know what they’re doing when it comes to writing catchy songs, each one on this album could have been released as a single and done well – simply due to its catchyness.

My favourite track on the album though is Cut The Curtains, the vocals are awesome for lack of a better word. The band play so well on this track, the low-tuned bass in the background gives the song a rather sinister edge despite it’s upbeat tempo. D’Sa throws in a great solo before the breakdown which is a great touch, Billy Talent can pull off breakdown’s with such precision and accuracy you wonder why the album isn’t one big breakdown. The most emotional song on the album is Nothing To Lose which tells the story of a victim of bullying, it was used in a campaign for Kids Help Phone – each time it was played on certain Canadian radio stations, Billy Talent donated $1 to the charity. The song is the slowest on the album and the most emotion-driven, it’s about an important issue and the lyrics are very thought provoking.

The album then is great for anyone looking for some fast singalong tunes or who have an interest in punk rock, this album is a great place to start. Before buying the album listen to; Try Honesty, River Below and Lies.


The NME Awards Tour 2009…

January 22, 2009

For the second year running the Shockwaves NME Awards Tour is coming to my local venue, the Engine Shed in Lincoln, and I am in shock over how NME can openly support such an awful lineup for a tour! The bands in question are Friendly Fires, White Lies, Florence And The Machine and headliners Glasvegas.

Last year’s lineup was far better than this abismal effort of ‘cutting edge’ bands, 2008 featured The Cribs, Does It Offend You Yeah and The Ting Tings. I’m not really a fan of The Ting Tings but they’ve had a big impression on music this year, which I’m not sure the 2009 artists will.

Firstly we have Friendly Fires, nothing special about them at all. I have seen them live and wasn’t impressed, I only know I’ve seen them perform live because I was told so the other day – that’s how exciting the show must have been. I gave them a quick listen again to see if I missed something but alas I was right in trying to forget the band, they’re nothing special at all. Also on the bill is Florence And The Machine, you haven’t heard of them either? Good. I have a sneaky suspicion NME/Shockwaves spent all their budget on the headliner act and had to settle on some random opener band for the tour (much like 2008 with Joe Lean And The Jing Jang Jong). Which begs the question – if you’ve not got enough money, why do you still run the tour? At least change headliner bands! Which is my main grievance…

White Lies are supposedly going to be the next big thing in music, and to be fair I hope they are. I’ve heard good things about them and apparently their debut album is currently #1 in the mid-week charts, so why are White Lies going through this regime of pointless exposure? Obviously the people buying White Lies’ album are the people who read NME anyway, so why go on tour with two undiscovered and one overrated band? Yes, overrated. That’s how I’m describing Glasvegas and I feel it is a very valid point. The band have been going since 2003 and have just made it onto the ‘cool list’ in NME late last year. They have thousands of fans all over Britain and I can’t for the life of me understand why! They’re just boring and bland, nothing new to bring to the table but it sells records…and gig tickets. This is the only reason I believe Glasvegas are headlining the tour – they will sell tickets. Not because they’re talented,  because they’re popular. Something which I hope is altered next year.

Finally, whilst reading various ‘bands of 2008’ posts around the web it seemed NME along with many other people agreed MGMT were the best band of last year…so why not book them? If MGMT were headlining the tour I’d gladly pay my £15.26 to see it, but instead I’m doing my hardest to avoid the pitiful Glasvegas.


Noise Restriction Petition Was A Hoax

January 20, 2009

The petition that found its way onto Facebook and quite possibly into your inbox has been declared as false and a hoax by the government today. The petition was in aid of stopping the possible noise restriction laws, which aren’t actually real. The petition has over 67,000 signatures and can be viewed at http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/NoNoiseControl/.

A spokesperson for the Department of Media, Culture and Sport told the NME that currently there is “no universal plan to fit noise control devices, or any plans at all to fit them in the way described [by the petition]”.

This doesn’t come as much of a shock to me, as there are hundreds if not thousands of fake petitions on Facebook, all of them claiming to be saving the world if they can get so many signatures. I was however sent the link to the Facebook group and the petition many many times by different people in an attempt to take my signature and add it to their list, which obviously means people do feel strongly about the noise laws.

However at the minute the local authorities are able to install noise limiters in any venue they so wish, they just choose not to. All venues and clubs are built in the city centre or away from housing estates meaning they can play for longer and also louder. I can’t think of any club which would need its noise turning down, there are no neighbours to annoy and no people to complain as clubs usually open at 10pm – and you don’t go into town after 8pm unless you’re looking for a night out. Music venues nowadays are incorporated with very thick walls to at least muffle the sound being heard outside if not stop it altogether.

The petition then was obviously not real despite its very professional look and also a worthy cause –  if the threatening measures mentioned weren’t already at the disposal of your local council.


Unsigned Review: Lithurgy

January 16, 2009

Whenever I prowl Myspace Music for new artists under the genre of metal I’m usually very disappointed, most unsigned metal acts are unsigned for a reason – they’re awful. Conversely many signed metal acts are equally as terrible but this isn’t a rant about metal, this is a review of Brighton metallers Lithurgy.

Usually the downfall of most Myspace metal bands is their vocals, either they can’t get the gutteral scream that a metal bands needs or their recording is not of a high quality thus sounding distorted and more importantly unlistenable. Lithurgy however have mastered the metal vocals perfectly, just listen to their track Absolute Truth. It comes running at you with a maniacal sound of wailing guitars and deafening screams, and it’s great! The singing too is fairly decent, somewhat reminding me of Staind – although I’m not sure why. The song on the whole is reminiscent of early Pantera in it’s overall ‘this is metal, get used to it’ style.

The second song entitled Lost In Translation relies more on the gutteral noises that come from within, which isn’t a bad thing at all for any metal artist, bands like Napalm Death and Deicide rely on it – although Lithurgy aren’t that heavy. The anthem-esque chorus is a nice touch, truly adding depth to the music and the feeling that Lithurgy are all about the metal and would create circle pits at any venue.

The final song in this review is The Scourge which begins with some great drumming and guitar-work which sounds like it could be any of the great metal acts out there today. This song again brutalising your eardrums with blast beats and growls, reminding you metal is still alive and well in the garages of Britain. The solo is fairly epic, perfectly timed and a nice addition to the song. The vocals on this song are much more menacing and evil than the previous two, and to quote Strapping Young Lad the band are as ‘heavy as a really heavy thing’.

Overall: ****

Listen To: The Scourge

Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/lithurgy

If you are in an unsigned band and would like to feature here then contact me with your band address and I’ll give a review in exchange for a link on your website to this blog. Just that easy!


His Master’s Venues

January 15, 2009

HMV has decided to branch out from the boring old selling records for money malarky, to the selling tickets for money at their own venues. It seems some companies haven’t lost out during the credit crunch at all, HMV have taken the crisis as a golden hello into expansion.

HMV will be taking over 11 venues across Britain with new business partners MAMA Group (who already own venues including the Barfly). HMV shall be taking over The Forum, Heaven, The Garage, The Borderline, G-A-Y and the infamous Hammersmith Apollo as well as 5 others.

Venues shall be renamed to include HMV, for example the Apollo will now be HMV Apollo and The Forum will be HMV Forum.

I can’t quite understand why this is happening to be honest. I highly doubt any of these venues were failing, live music is more popular than ever at the minute even with the money crisis. The venues in question too are some of the busier and well-known halls around Britiain. I can understand if HMV wants to expand into the live music market, it’s a very lucrative market to be in if managed correctly, but why rename all the venues to inform the public of your presence?

Hammersmith Apollo was previously Hammersmith Odeon, renaming to the Apollo annoyed many people in the surrounding area – how do you think they’ll feel now it has become Franchise Apollo? Not quite the same feel to it really is it?