Leeds/Reading 2009

March 30, 2009

Well then, it’s finally here, the day the Leeds/Reading headliners and other big names are announced and personally I’m not that impressed. Of course there are some good bands in there, but there’s nothing that striking about the lineup. Last year there was RATM reforming, and the year before was both Smashing Pumpkins and Red Hot Chili Peppers – but this year seems a little watered down in terms of calibre.

Of course I’m not talking about Radiohead, they are the best band on the lineup this year by far. I never used to be that big a fan, but after actually sitting down and listening to The Bends one day I have completely changed my mind and own a lot of material by Thom Yorke and the gang. However, the other two headliners are nothing that special anymore.

The Arctic Monkeys were the big thing about three years ago, since then they’ve slowly got less and less coverage as more and more bands try to sound like them. The ‘indie’ scene is booming with bands prefixed with the word ‘The’, which I’m sure will storm the Leeds/Reading lineup like never before.

The other headliner is Kings of Leon, woo bloody hoo. I’ve got nothing against the band, they’re perfectly talented and have had major success lately with their singles but I’m just not that suprised. Everyone knew that they were going to headline, it’s a bit of a let down.

Other bands which aren’t all that eyecatching are the Kaiser Chiefs, Ian Brown, Vampire Weekend, Fall Out Boy, The Courteeners, Gossip, Glasvegas…etc etc. Basically the majority of the lineup is dire. Currently Leeds/Reading is looking like a poor attempt at last year’s festival, whereas Download Festival is going from strength to strength with its lineup announcments. Hopefully Leeds/Reading will follow suit and dazzle its punters with some big names and suprises being added to the bill.

There are of course some bands I would like to see; The Prodigy, Bloc Party, Maximo Park, Deftones, Enter Shikari and Gallows. Possibly swinging by Funeral For A Friend and AFI, if they both play their older material. Currently though the roster is weak, although I have heard rumours that The Cure will headline the NME stage…great stuff!


Which Ten Will You Choose?

March 26, 2009

This week sees the reissue of possibly one of the greatest grunge albums of all time, Pearl Jam’s 1991 album Ten. But why?

Ten was released in 1991, which as you should know, is 18 years ago. Why 18 years? Ideally the reissue of an album called Ten would be 10 years later, but alas Eddie Vedder and the guys have kept it back for an extra 8 years. It would have made slightly more sense to keep it for another 2 years, then it would be the 20th anniversary of the album. However, it’s out now so buy it! But which version?

I’m guessing this is a mixture of both Pearl Jam and their record label, but there are different versions of the reissue, each more expensive than the last. The basic package will get you 2 CDs, the first being the remastered album and the second being the album remixed by Brendan O’Brien with previously unreleased bonus tracks. This is onsale at Play.com for £11.99. The ‘deluxe edition’ of the album features the same 2 CDs as before, but also a DVD of Pearl Jam’s unplugged session from 1992. This is onsale at Play.com for £33.99.

These two reissues fail in comparison though at the ‘Memorabilia Collector’s Edition’. As well as the 2 CDs and DVD, you get;

  • Vinyl LP of remastered version
  • Vinyl LP of remixed version
  • Double Vinyl LP of Pearl Jam live
  • Cassette replica of Eddie’s vocal dub tape
  • Replica of Eddie’s notebook featuring lyrics, doodles and photos
  • Laminated backstage pass replica
  • Ticket replica
  • Postcards
  • 6 photos with written notes on reverse side
  • Large poster
  • Fabric sticker

All of this could be yours for £99.99! Hooray!

Whilst I’m not saying the memorabilia edition isn’t fantastic in every way, I’m just not sure if any of this money grabbing needed to happen. I understand that Ten has been reissued, albeit a strange number of years later, but I don’t understand why there are so many editions! It seems to me that Epic Records have seen a very lucrative idea and run with it, which makes sense…but do we really need all of this? I’m saying no.


It’s More Than Hardcore

March 20, 2009

We all know there are a ridiculous amount of genres and sub-genres in the music world today, plainly for the fact more and more artists are coming up with original sounds and need to be labelled accordingly. It’s simply not enough to put the term ‘alternative’ on any artist that doesn’t exactly fit a specification, people need to know exactly what they’re listening to otherwise they could get confused…some how.

There are though some genres which obviously need breaking up into sections, rock music is far too broad an area nowadays to put all bands with an electric guitar in there. There has to be some sort of division, for example:

This is a very basic breakdown of rock, there’s probably a few which I have missed but they could be included in other genres e.g. grunge belongs under the punk category.

The whole premise of sub-genres though is getting crazier by the day in the worlds of metal and punk. The idea of adding the suffix ‘core to a word suddenly making it a genre is ludicrous, with some exceptions. There are some sub-genres with the dreaded suffix which are genres in most music fans eyes, e.g. hardcore, post-hardcore, grindcore and metalcore.

These genres in a nutshell:

Hardcore is hardcore punk, think punk music but faster and heavier.
Post-hardcore is hardcore punk, but more experimental.
Grindcore is very abrasive, fast, thrashy metal.
Metalcore is hardcore punk mixed with heavy metal.

Besides these four though, the suffix of ‘core has been added to anything. Here’s a short  list of some examples, which are all real.

Deathcore
Doomcore
Horrorcore
Mathcore
Nardcore
Nintendocore
Noisecore
Rapcore

Presumably all these genres need to exist, so why doesn’t someone put a bit more effort into naming them? Rather than just thinking of a vaguely associated word and adding ‘core to the end of it. It seems that today each bands wants to sound original and have ‘their sound’ so they have to invent a whole new genre just for themselves. Why don’t they just try to become the best band in an existing genre? Wouldn’t you rather be the BEST metal band than the only Genrecore band? Think about it.


It’s Not The Size That Matters…

March 12, 2009

Apple have announced yet another edition of the iPod, this time an even smaller iPod shuffle. What is the point?

When the original iPod shuffle came out I thought it was a ludicrous idea as there was no screen, to find the song you wanted you had to skip all of the rest. This though is the point of the shuffle, it’s just for songs you actually like and want to listen to – unlike most people’s iPods. Also without a screen, how would you know what song is playing? Especially if you’d just put a new album on there and didn’t know the song titles. Apple have come up with the solution, it talks to you!

Talking being a very loose term, the iPod will ‘speak’ to you and tell you the song title and name. Very clever, but if this happens after each song it could become very annoying. Hopefully there will be a function to either turn it on/off or possibly just a button to press in order to hear the ‘voice’.

In all the shuffle is around 4.5cm high and 1.7cm wide. Very small indeed. But I doubt it’s that durable. Being as thin as it is, it could break by pushing the headphones in too hard. I’ve dropped my iPod numerous times and each time been relieved it hadn’t broken, were I to drop this I’d be on my way to the shop before it hit the ground.

The price though is very good, only £59 and is currently available.

For more information, visit: http://www.apple.com/ipodshuffle/


I’m On A Boat

March 8, 2009

The greatest thing I’ve seen on Youtube in a while has to be this video. The Lonely Island featuring T-Pain ‘On A Boat’.

The Lonely Island are a comedy band who have starred in the American TV show Saturday Night Live, and they have released an album entitled Incredibad. They’ve had masses of success all over the internet with the song ‘Jizz In My Pants’ which is a very funny song, but ‘I’m On A Boat’ is in a different league.

For those of you who take rap music deadly seriously, this probably isn’t for you. But for the rest of us just enjoy it!


A Quick Theory

March 3, 2009

This is going to be a short post but it’s been something which has played on my mind for a while, and that is the subject of upcoming acts for Download Festival. Admittedly I have dropped the ball somewhat by not covering the past few announcements of bands, but as of late I have been very busy with work and other such things.

Anyway, the theory is this. As it seems Download is having an ‘oldie rock’ day with Def Leppard, Whitesnake and ZZ Top so far confirmed it stands to reason that more of the older rock bands will be added to the bill in due course. One of which I feel could be Spinal Tap. I have previously reported that they are making a new album and could therefore possibly go on tour later in the year, and what better place than Donington surrounded by the creme of older generation rock music.

There’s a strong likelihood that this won’t happen, but if it does then I’d like to be the first to mention it.