VIDEO: Moby – “Lie Down In Darkness”

Moby recently released a video for his new single “Lie Down In Darkness”, from his 10th album, Destroyed. The song holds this symphonic atmosphere, and the when Moby and directors Luke Seomore and Joseph Bull (aka Institute For Eyes) all describe the song as “cinematic”, they hit the nail right on the head, because that’s exactly how it feels.

I’ve no doubt some will find this track boring or uninspiring, but the reality is, Moby manages to create these amazingly simple hooks (eg: those four backing vocal notes), and craft a whole song around them. To be able to take something so basic and build upon it, until it’s this mature and interesting song, is a talent in itself. And I think it’s from this base of simplicity that Moby manages to give his songs a personality – something special that separates his music from the rest.

BRAND NEW/TOUR: Kaiser Chiefs – “Little Shocks”

It’s great too, because while their latest single “Little Shocks” may not have an instant hook like “Ruby”, it shows growth in the band, who are clearly willing to try something new.

The track sounds like a bit of a grower, but it’ll be very interesting to see where their new album goes stylistically. I hope it gets some solid rotation on triple j.

The band are coming over for Splendour, but they’re also playing a couple of sideshows with Papa Vs Pretty and Stonefield.

Wed 3 Aug – UC Refectory, Canberra, ACT – 18+
Fri 5 Aug – Palace Theatre, Melbourne, VIC – 18+
Sat 6 Aug – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW – All ages

There’s a pre-sale for Frontier Members from noon on the 6th of June, for 24 hours (or until the pre-sale allocation is gone). General tickets go on sale from 9am on the 9th of June.

A Splendour sideshow in Canberra? Wow. Well, there you go. Not that I’m complaining of course, seeing I live there. It’s just a bit surprising.

TOUR/COMPETITION: Ben Sherman Big British Sound! + Win some CDs!

For those of you hanging around Sydney and Melbourne, early May is going to bring you some great live music. In fact you guys get access to pretty cool music most of the time. But especially now, because on the 11th and 12th of May is the Ben Sherman Big British Sound!

“What’s that?”, you might ask. Well, it’s a night filled with emerging artists from around Australia. It’s been pretty successful the past two years, and has seen artists like Art Vs Science, Tame Impala, Little Red, and Seabellies grace the stage.

The catch? Each artist performs one or two covers from British artists they like. So not only do you get to see some brilliant Aussie musicians play, but you get to hear some special covers as well.

Head down if you get the chance! Tickets are only about $10 each.

Melbourne
11th May (Wednesday), 2011 – 19:30-22:30
The Corner Hotel, 57 Swan St
Tickets – http://www.cornerhotel.com/
Ball Park Music
Strange Talk
Boy In A Box
Owl Eyes
DJs Simon Winkler & Jess McGuire (RRR)

Sydney
12th May (Thursday), 2011 – 19:30-22:30
The Gaelic Club, 64 Devonshire St, Surry Hills
Tickets – http://www.moshtix.com.au/event.aspx?id=46271
Ball Park Music
Strange Talk
Boy In A Box
Step-Panther
DJs Sweetie & Shag (FBi)

COMPETITION:

Thanks to the folks organising the Ben Sherman Big British Sound, you can score copies of the latest releases from Ball Park Music and Boy In A Box!

All you have to do is comment and tell me who your favourite British artist is, and why! Easy, right? Get to it! Just leave an e-mail address somehow when you leave a comment, otherwise I can’t contact you.

I’ll pick the best entry and announce the winner on Saturday afternoon, so get your entries in early!

Competition is over! Congratulations to Benny Nitro!

VIDEO: Guineafowl – “Little Fingers”

Awesome indie-rockers Guineafowl have had quite a big Wednesday!

On top of being able to tell everyone they’re playing SPLENDOUR IN THE FREAKIN’ GRASS (congratulations guys!), they’ve released their latest video for “Little Fingers”.

I’ve gotta hand it to them – I thought Botanist was done extremely well and had absolutely no idea what this clip was going to be like. Sure, people will complain that the reversed video is a gimmick or whatever. Those people are probably overly cynical and whinge about anything that comes there way. I for one don’t care that Coldplay and Eskimo Joe have done it before. This is a brilliant effort and would’ve taken a hell of a lot of practice.

In the order we watch the video, Guineafowl is actually regurgitating a banana. Seems kinda funnier when you think about it that way. But I digress. The vocals are extremely well done and it looks really cool.

TAKE A LOOK.

FEATURE: HEY SPLENDOUR

Hi Splendour,

This morning, after waking up rather late, I opened up my laptop to explore the internet. As usual.

To my surprise, I’d forgotten you were releasing your lineup today! How exciting! I quickly followed a link to a news article on the subject.

Woah, $510 to camp up there! That’s a lot of money. But that’s also a lot of artists. It’s a tough decision, isn’t it? It’s tricky, because although I see many, many artists I like, I also see many artists I don’t care about.

That’s the problem Splendour. See, I’m going to Groovin’ The Moo this year, and I have one clash. Apart from that, there’s a heap of artists I’ll be seeing that I really quite like, and it will be a lot of fun. AND, it’s only $100 to go. Which means if there’s a couple of bands which seem a bit ‘meh’ it’s not so bad.

The thing is though, there aren’t that many artists at Splendour that get my heart racing. There aren’t many that make me scream “I HAVE TO GO!” Sure, I really wanna see Coldplay, and The Living End would be fantastic. There are other exciting artists too, like Modest Mouse, and it’d certainly be cool to see The Mars Volta. But for a lineup this size, and for $510, I’m not sure I can justify the travel and expenses for many artists which I’ll just be taking a punt on. Many artists where I might have heard 1 or 2 songs only.

I’m sorry Splendour. I applaud what you’re doing here, it’s brilliant. Good work on making a lineup which I believe many people will love. There are heaps of famous and great indie artists here, many of which I’d see if they performed locally – it’d be closer and tickets would be much cheaper. I’d even say you guys could get close to knocking BDO off it’s perch as the most popular and well-known music festival (hopefully you don’t inherit it’s infamous bogan atmosphere).

But being a university student, I’m not sure I can make it.

If you had bands like Karnivool, The National, Johnny Foreigner, Los Campesinos!, or (if it’s even possible…) Radiohead; if you had bands that really got me excited and screamed “GO GO GO”, maybe I would try hard to get there. But you don’t.

Although I like some of your artists, there aren’t enough that I love to make it worthwhile for me to fork out over half a grand (although if any media outlets or friends want to buy me a ticket or send me, I’d totally be cool with that).

Sincerely,

Jeremy

Artists playing Splendour 2011:

Coldplay (only Aussie show)
Kanye West (only Aussie show)
Jane’s Addiction
The Hives
Pulp
The Living End
The Mars Volta
Regina Spektor (only 2011 show)
Bliss N Eso
Pnau
Mogwai (only Aussie show)
DJ Shadow
Glasvegas
The Grates
Devendra Banhardt
Modest Mouse
The Middle East
Kaiser Chiefs
James Blake
Kele
The Vines
Elbow
Eskimo Joe
Noah And The Whale
Children Collide
Thievery Corporation
Cut Copy
Isobel Campbell And Mark Lanegan
Bluejuice
The Kills
Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears (Featuring The Relatives)
Architecture In Helsinki
Foster The People
The Panics
Friendly Fires
Jebediah
The Vaccines
Gomez
Boy And Bear
Gotye
Does It Offend You Yeah?
Cloud Control
Mona
Sparkadia
Warpaint
Muscles (Live)
Fitz And The Tantrums
The Jezebels
Drapht
British Sea Power
Tim & Jean
Leader Cheetah
Grouplove
Seeker Lover Keeper
Yelle
Kimbra
Phrase
Oh Mercy
Dananananaykroyd
The Black Seeds
Marques Toliver
The Holidays
Ghoul
Liam Finn
The Herd
Young The Giant
Guineafowl
Hungry Kids Of Hungary
Jinja Safari
Wild Beasts
Illy
Cut Off Your Hands
Gareth Liddiard
Alpine
World’s End Press
Mosman Alder
Lanie Lane

Plus a bunch of DJ sets which you can look up if you’re into that kinda thing.

Tickets go on sale on the 5th of May at 9am via Moshtix.

Info and lineup from The Music Network.

FEATURE: Anyone up for some post-rock?

So you’re up around midnight. Browsing the internet, chatting to friends, reading a book, killing time just because you don’t feel like sleeping, whatever. Then you encounter the inevitable question: what do I listen to next?

It’s too late to put on something loud and aggressive. You’re too tired to put on something bouncy or poppy. You’re feeling too apathetic to want to listen to lyrics. You just want something nice to listen to.

I feel it’s times like these where post-rock is the only answer. Or, you know, something classical or orchestral or whatever if you’re into that too. But post-rock can be pretty good.

Anyway, short of putting on some Sigur Rós (I can vouch for “Takk…”, it’s quite nice, though it’s quite lengthy at just over an hour), you can try some work by Explosions in the Sky.

EitS are an American post-rock band, and their second-most recent album “The Rescue” is available for free from their website.

The band recorded it and mixed it in only two weeks. It contains eight tracks (“Day One”, “Day Two”, “Day Three”, etc.), each of which was written in a day. The next 6 days were spent mixing the record. It was inspired by an incident on tour when their van broke down, and they had to wait 8 days for it to be fixed. The band were broke, and ended up spending the 8 days in some nice person’s attic.

For me, post-rock can sometimes be a bit like background music. I know that sounds bad, like I don’t appreciate it or pay attention to it. But usually when I listen to it, I like just letting it pass me by. Explosions in the Sky proved to be a very similar experience.

All I’ll say is this: I enjoyed it. I can’t say it’ll prove to be anything revolutionary to post-rock fans, but to anyone wanting to expand their tastes and try something new, I see no reason as to why you shouldn’t check it out.

Grab a free download here.

BRAND NEW: Phoenix – “Live In Sydney” Free EP!

Phoenix. You know, that French band. The one that sings those insanely infectious synthy pop songs. Yeah, them. Well, they decided that they’d go and do something really nice for us all. They’ve released a live EP featuring songs from “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix” that they played for us Australians in Sydney. I didn’t catch any of their gigs over here, but I hear they’re pretty good live.

I haven’t grabbed the EP yet, but I will be very soon. Word is the live version of “Love Like A Sunset” is brilliant.

The track-listing is as follows:

1. Lisztomania
2. Lasso
3. Fences
4. Girlfriend
5. Armistice
6. Love Like A Sunset
7. Rome
8. 1901

Grab a free download here. (Once their servers are back up that is, it looks like they’re under a bit of strain at the moment. Understandably.)

REVIEW: Friendly Fires – "Jump In The Pool"

Friendly Fires released their successful debut self-titled album in September of 2008, and re-released it in August of 2009 containing an extra 3 songs, remixes, and a live DVD. "Jump In The Pool" is the second single from the album.

Opening with light, floating synths, drums enter in a manner akin to something you would expect to hear in a tribal ritual on some far-flung exotic corner of the earth (albeit one possibly stereotyped by Hollywood, the only type I know having experienced none first-hand). It all sounds very tropical, the throbbing base emphasising certain lyrical points in the verses.

The song takes flight during the particularly powerful chorus, lifting up alongside the poignant lyrical imagery that’s crafted in an atmospherically supportive way. The synths and drumming strongly evoke energetic feelings, and combined with the water-based lyrical themes that seem to centre around the journey into adulthood, form a song that is both melodically and rhythmically fun, and lyrically interesting enough to satisfy those who want to sing along.

Friendly Fires have really nailed a dance song here with a twist in it. It’s infectious, and the drum fills between sections really build up the suspense and draw attention to the strong nature of the chorus. I can find very little to fault this song to be honest. When I downloaded it on a whim (I’d liked "Kiss Of Life" and thought this could be good) I was pretty much blown away.

Grab a free download from Spinner here.

Score: 10/10

REVIEW: Links to awesome songs I found on Stereogum (because I’m too lazy to write an album review tonight and have homework because I procrastinated)

How epic is that!

On a more related note, I was thinking about reviewing a whole album before. But then I decided against it. Because I’m lazy I’d just started going through a bunch of Stereogum mp3’s, downloading the ones I want, and I thought I’d talk about them. There really is a tonne of good stuff there to look through, I’m still not finished going through it all.

Anyway, as follows are links to the articles with the songs in them, and a brief opinion and score (I did find a lot of songs, I’m just listing the ones I’ve found particularly awesome so far).

“Fake Empire” by The National – Absolutely amazing in my opinion. I’ve been quite taken by The National after hearing their album Boxer. Vocals are amazing, different from anything else I’ve heard. The piano’s timing is great, lyrically it’s interesting too. Score: 10/10 (Yeah, you heard me. It’s that good.

“Leyendecker” by Battles – I actually had this before I saw the download on Stereogum. It’s a short instrumental piece. Catchy drum beat, cool uh… electronic sounds. I’m terrible at describing music like this. The words “techno” and “electronic” are too simple to describe it properly, and I don’t know any others. But anyway, you might like it. You might not. I just think it’s catchy. Score: 8/10

“The Underdog” by Spoon – I’d heard this before, but didn’t know what it was. And I’d only heard “The Way We Get By” by Spoon before (well, as far as I know). But this is awesome. Great horn sections, great chorus, great song. Oh yeah, and it has hand claps! Score: 9/10

“Acceptable In The 80’s” by Calvin Harris – WELL I’VE GOT NEWS FOR YOU, IF YOU WERE BORN IN THE 80’S, THE 80’S! It’s time to disco boys and girls. Score: 7/10

“One Crowded Hour” by Augie March – If you don’t have this amazingly poetic and beautiful song, get it NOW. Unfortunately, I’ve only heard 2 Augie March songs I really like (this, and “The Cold Acre”). But, this is good enough for me to not care. Score: 10/10

Anyway, I’m off. Hope I’ve provided you, whoever you are, with some good listening.