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  • Pride and Fest Summer Tour

    19 May 2010, 20:58 by Kenelis

    Kenelis UK Tour confirmed... 29th May Birmingham Pride, 20th June Suffolk Pride, 26th June Sheffield Pride, 3rd July Fake Fest (with Guns2Roses), 10th July Derby Pride, 17th July Guilfest (Rocksound Cave), 31st July Nottingham Pride, 1st August Frimchette Festival, 7th August Brighton Pride, 4th September Cardiff Mardis Gras. Which are you coming to?! :)Kenelis
  • Zeroes’ Heroes 07: Goldfrapp - Black Cherry [2003]

    3 Oct 2009, 18:53 by SevenUp


    Over the course of the last 6 months of this decade, i’ll be putting together my favorite twelve albums of the years 2000 up to and 2009. Why twelve? It was too hard to actually cut it down to ten, and reviewing two albums a month seems like a good pace. Expect some safe choices, some incomprehensible ones, but most of all a record-collector having a go at recollecting an eclectic decade.

    One thing that separated the Zeroes from the Nineties, like i mentioned in the Bloc Party piece, was the creation of the niche. Debutants like Interpol or The Strokes or indeed Bloc Party seemed to have carved out their own corner in popmusic before they even first set foot in a studio. Every album that follows after the first confirms the route, but never strays from it.

    How different the path of Goldfrapp. Felt Mountain was their unworldly debut in 2000, the soundtrack to Snow White would it have been a soft porn film-noir. It took three years to complete the follow-up Black Cherry, and what a shock it was to hear Train, the first single, for the first time... like a long lost collaboration between Gary Glitter and Marlene Dietrich.

    If the term "difficult" second album means an album that scares off most of the fans you gained with your first, then Black Cherry was a very very difficult one. It doesn't deliver on Felt Mountain's promise, which in my opinion was a dead-end anyway, a beautiful one, but a cul-de-sac nonetheless. What is so great about Black Cherry, knowing that Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory deliberately chose to make this kind of record after such a stellar one like Felt Mountain, is that it sends a message: Expect change, and expect challenges. With Black Cherry, it became apparent that Goldfrapp had a creative agenda more complex and less accessible than most people expected, and in the long run that proved to be a good thing.

    Perhaps at first it seemed a little arrogant - as if Alison assumed that the thing listeners loved most about her debut was her voice, and we can do without the rest. Personally, i think that's the sort of stylistic leap more artists should’ve made the past few years. Opener Crystalline Green shuts the door good and proper on Felt Mountain from the start, with its dry beats, throbbing synths and Vanity 6-style harmonies, and Alison singing “Try to forget who you are now”. Sexual, almost to the point of caricature, which was probably the point all along.

    Black Cherry doesn’t entirely abandon Felt Mountain’s aesthetic, proof for that is in the mid-section of the album with the wonderfully lush and erotic Deep Honey and Hairy Trees. After those two songs, the build up from the first part of the record continues with Twist and comes to a glittering sonic climax on Stric Machine - in more than one way a modern day answer to Donna Summer’s I Feel Love. Where the classic disco track was clearly about two people enjoying each other, Strict Machine sings of the wonders of accessorized masturbation. After that, the album gently slips away with Forever and Slippage - basically Strict Machine but a bit slower and lower.

    In hindsight, Black Cherry was a transitional record, as they say. You could summarize the record with the word Erotic, on the next record Supernature, the word was Sex. Train got a proper hit single reworking in the shape of Ooh La La, and where Strict Machine was the glittering peak on Black Cherry, on Supernature the glitter was in every corner, wrinkle and hole. It proved the notion that every Goldfrapp album is an adventure on it’s own, and there’s no way of telling which way they’re going. Wonderful electric!

    Highlights: Train, Deep Honey, Strict Machine
    Sources: Shakingthrough, Junkmedia, Splendid
  • Zeroes’ Heroes 08: Radio 4 - Gotham [2002]

    3 Oct 2009, 18:41 by SevenUp


    Over the course of the last 6 months of this decade, i’ll be putting together my favorite twelve albums of the years 2000 up to and 2009. Why twelve? It was too hard to actually cut it down to ten, and reviewing two albums a month seems like a good pace. Expect some safe choices, some incomprehensible ones, but most of all a record-collector having a go at recollecting an eclectic decade.

    Dance-punk. Perhaps that word sums up best what happened in alternative music in the past ten years. Dance, because there wasn’t much room for subtleties. Whatever music you made, it had to appeal to the body instead of the mind, it had to make you move before it made you think. And punk, well, file-sharing and the immediacy of internet prompted any musician to a more do-it-yourself approach of making and distributing songs.

    The genre that was called dance-punk was at its height around 2005, with LCD Soundsystem as the centre of gravity. But by the time James Murphy’s band released their debut album that year, dance-punk had already crystallized, all the ingredients of the concoction were in the right balance. The hard work had been done a few years earlier, by The Rapture, who made danceable music and sounded like punks on some occasions... and Radio 4, who did both full-time.

    Radio 4 formed in Brooklyn, 1999, and claimed that their sound is "made in New York, is about New York, and sounds like New York". With a little help from James Murphy and Tim Goldsworthy they recorded their second album Gotham, and set a sonic template that bands like Bloc Party and The Dead 60s would happily adopt .

    Even though Gotham was released in 2002, hitting the spot with its militant, call-to-arms message and sound in a post 9/11 world, in fact it was recorded in July 2001. The record is a commentary on New York and its people before the Twin Towers fell down, to make them dance, and then think. Songs about the need to discuss AIDS more constructively ("Who'd have thought disease could turn out passe?” from Start A Fire), the neglect of the arts (the self-explanatory Save Your City) and ubiquitously, about the injustice of former Mayor Giuliani's banning of dancing in many of the city's clubs.

    The album is a full-speed subway ride, with stops only slowing down slightly in Speaking In Codes and Pipe Bombs. The funk comes from the rhythm section, the bass always at the front, and the drums sounds like Radio 4 nicked every dustbin lid in Brooklyn to bang on, to underline the statements they’re making. The punk is provided by the jagged guitars, most impressively on Our Town, and the impassioned vocals. You won’t find soppy love songs here, The Movies is the one that comes to something that resembles a traditional popsong at all.

    After Gotham, Radio 4 returned in 2004 with Stealing Of A Nation, and while it showed some progression to a more electronic sound and traditional song structures, it rubbed me the wrong way completely with the overtly political message. On Gotham, their saving grace is that the lyrics are drowned out by the music. When the bass is turned up and the feet are dancing, the mind is open for anything.

    Highlights: Our Town,Dance To The Underground, The Movies
    Sources: Wikipedia, Allmusic, MusicOMH
  • Zeroes’ Heroes 09: Maxïmo Park - A Certain Trigger [2005]

    13 Sep 2009, 13:34 by SevenUp



    Over the course of the last 6 months of this decade, i’ll be putting together my favorite twelve albums of the years 2000 up to and 2009. Why twelve? It was too hard to actually cut it down to ten, and reviewing two albums a month seems like a good pace. Expect some safe choices, some incomprehensible ones, but most of all a record-collector having a go at recollecting an eclectic decade.

    The further i proceed on this list of lists of lists, the more frantic i get whenever i have to write a bit about the next album on it. I start doubting my common sense while skipping through the tracks of aforementioned album, realizing how bloody good it is, and deciding it should be higher up. So as i’ve rearranged the entire order of the list, i start skipping through the tracks of the album that became number 9 instead of Maxïmo Park’s A Certain Trigger. And then i realize how bloody useless it is. From now on, all you’re going to see here are modern day classics, and perhaps, apart from the top two, they’re all equal to sit at number 9 just as well as number 3.

    Maxïmo Park is in this list, and as i’m researching and re-listening their debut album, i see a lot of similarities between them and the previous entry on the Zeroes Heroes’ list, Bloc Party. Part of the post-punk/new wave revival of the mid Zeroes, a debut album produced by Paul Epworth and nominated for the Mercury Prize, to name a few. However, wether you had read about them, saw them or heard them even around that time, it would have been impossible from the start to dismiss them as ‘just a band’. 

Beneath only that most superficial surface, there are a lot of oddities going on with Maxïmo Park. They were the first ‘conventional’ pop band to sign to Warp Records - known for their progressive electronic music like Aphex Twin and Squarepusher. Lead singer Paul Smith looked like an extra from A Clockwork Orange who easily could have had his own spin-off movie. His lyrics stay far away from the usual angst of bands like Bloc Party, but instead center around the intense frustation that comes from boredom, echoing The Smiths instead of Joy Division, quoting Albert Einstein instead of Kurt Cobain. And where Bloc Party was a band that stuffed a great idea in every track on Silent Alarm, Maxïmo Park start their songs with a great idea, have another one during the first chorus, and discard that one too by the time they get to the bridge.

    The best thing about all that, and A Certain Trigger to be specific, is that it left a weak first impression. The music was unfathomable at first glance, the only songs that hit home almost straight away were Apply Some Pressure and Once, A Glimpse. Serving as a catalyst for the rest of the album, those tracks softened my ears for the next step, where for instance Postcard Of A Painting, Going Missing and The Coast Is Always Changing revealed their true identity. By the time i had listened to the album quite a few times and agreed it was OK despite Graffiti, Limassol and Acrobat, BANG!, it hit me right in the face that those were actually among the best of the whole album.

    The twitch comes partly from their deceptively complicated song structures. Their songs seem to slide from verse to chorus to bridge and it’s over, but in the mean time you get 16 bars of pure genius like the ecstatic, whirling bridge on Graffiti. Their melodies can be lightheartedly catchy, but get obscured oft and again by rhythmical curiosities, like the drum-roll that doesn’t fit in Apply Some Pressure.

    When i’d peeled off all those layers of A Certain Trigger, its heart lays bare, and it was bittersweet, smart, sexual, frustated, angry, bored, romantic, stupid, spiteful, yearning and witty. The time it took me to learn to know and appreciate it made it feel like a old friend. Music that achieves that, never fails to touch you everytime you listen to it, adding to the friendship. Well, more of that for every album coming up next.

    Sources: Pitchfork, Allmusic
    Highlights: Graffiti, Once, a Glimpse, Acrobat
  • Zeroes’ Heroes 10: Bloc Party - Silent Alarm [2005]

    29 Aug 2009, 13:33 by SevenUp



    Over the course of the last 6 months of this decade, i’ll be putting together my favorite twelve albums of the years 2000 up to and 2009. Why twelve? It was too hard to actually cut it down to ten, and reviewing two albums a month seems like a good pace. Expect some safe choices, some incomprehensible ones, but most of all a record-collector having a go at recollecting an eclectic decade.

    If i could give out an award for Most Promising Debut Of The Decade, without a doubt i’d give it to Bloc Party’s Silent Alarm. Their mix of Joy Division-style drum & bass combined with Radiohead-like soundscapes and lyrics made them the most likely ones of their generation to gain the status of Rock Gods like R.E.M. and U2. But something went wrong after that.

    A better title for this piece would be Me Trying To Unravel The Mystery Of Bloc Party. How could any band debut with a sound so distinctively their own, balanced but still with all the youthfull head-over-heals-enthusiasm you’d expect on a first album? And more important, a collection of songs most bands can only hope to compile on a Best Of.

    The Mystery sort of unravelled itself every time Bloc Party released a new album, because a strange phenomenon seemed to connect all those bands with fabulous debuts in the 00s, like The Strokes, Interpol, Vampire Weekend etc. As soon as a follow-up appeared on the horizon, you realized that what made these bands stand out was more a carefully constructed function and form, instead of the romantic notion that it only takes a stroke of pure genius and a bit of luck to hit upon a unique sound. What that means to all music that comes after the initial introduction, is that there’s not a lot of diversion to be discovered, just a continuation of the course set.

    Bloc Party are really the prime example of that trend to me. Their following albums A Weekend In The City and Intimacy didn’t add much to their sound, which downsized their remarkability in a way - if they can’t come up with anything different from what they’ve done before, what’s the difference between them and their copycats?

    Now, about the album. Because i’m not here writing about what Bloc Party meant, but more about what they did ofcourse. The reason this album is not in the upper regions of my list, is The Curse Of Silent Alarm. Apart from all the good stuff i mentioned two paragraphs before, there are some things that can be held against it.

    Most important, the album has always felt and still feels oversized to me. Thirteen tracks in a bit more than 50 minutes time doesn’t seem much oversized on paper, but in the case of Silent Alarm it really is. That probably has a lot to do with the dense production and too similar sounding songs - after four years i still can’t remember which title goes with which song.

    The time that passed since its release has also helped picking out the weak songs on the album, although i can only choose two - Blue Light, Luno - that could’ve been left off the album to bring it down to more comprehensable proportions.

    Enough bitchforking though... After seeing them live just a few weeks ago, finally something clicked between me and Bloc Party. Perhaps it was perfect timing, dancing in the light of a setting sun to This Modern Love - if only one song of them should be passed over to next generations, it should be that one - but no matter what, i saw a band that had a great bunch of songs to play, and played them well and with the same vigour with which they were recorded. A band that was one of the trendsetters during these past ten years.

    highlights: Banquet, This Modern Love, Price of Gas
  • Zeroes’ Heroes 11: LCD Soundsystem - LCD Soundsystem [2005]

    2 Aug 2009, 20:21 by SevenUp



    Over the course of the last 6 months of this decade, i’ll be putting together my favorite twelve albums of the years 2000 up to and 2009. Why twelve? It was too hard to actually cut it down to ten, and reviewing two albums a month seems like a good pace. Expect some safe choices, some incomprehensible ones, but most of all a record-collector having a go at recollecting an eclectic decade.

    In 2002, the world looked up when LCD Soundsystem released their first single Losing My Edge - the story of a DJ who’s afraid of losing touch with the times while bragging about his impeccable and infinite music collection. It reintroduced a sense of humor in music that somehow disappeared with the Talking Heads, and really was the starting point of the Zeroes’ typical post-eclectic, cross-referencing popmusic that acts like Franz Ferdinand took to other levels.

    LCD Soundsystem is James Murphy is DFA Records. Mr. Murphy started DJing in 1993 under the nickname Death From Above, and co-founded DFA Records six years later.

    After Losing My Edge, LCD Soundsystem continued with a string of strong, heck even classic singles (like Yeah) before there were even the faintest hints of an actual album release. It finally happened though in January 2005, and it’s because the physical album consists of two discs - one the official album, the second the first three singles and their b-sides - that i’m putting this record on number 11.

    Because, to be honest, the actual album doesn’t really have the weight to justify a spot on this list. Pieces Of The People We Love by The Rapture or Gotham by Radio 4 would have had just as much, if not far more, reason to be included here.

    Tracks like Daft Punk Is Playing At My House, Tribulations and Great Release are the strong points of this record, but the overall feel of the album is that every trick and reference known in James Murphy’s book is on display here. It tries a bit too hard to weld all their influences together, like AC/DC paying tribute to Daft Punk, The Beatles covering Pink Floyd, Kraftwerk reforming as The Fall. The follow-up to their debut, Sound Of Silver, was a much better paced and evocative record. Well, you might ask, why isn’t that one in this list? Good question, simply because the raw energy from just a couple of tracks on the first album changed the landscape of dance music in this decade. But as you might have guessed, they’re not on the first disc of the package.

    No. Losing My Edge, it’s original b-side Beat Connection and the two versions of Yeah on that bonus disc defined a new standard for dance music. Taking out the impeccable sequencing and sounds, and putting back blood, sweat and suburban tears, moved it all to another level. In that way, a cycle was finally completed, or at least my ultimate fantasy was indulged: the dance-rock hybrid, started by New Order (clumsy because they probably didn’t know how to operate their gear), which got more and more hi-tech as years passed, returned to its roots because of James Murhpy. He approached it as music made by people, trying to be machines, creating a sloppy-neat/neat-sloppy sound.

    So those first few singles emphasize LCD Soundsystem’s strong points: the typical drum-machine-with-added-human-error, the dynamics which go off the charts at times - like in Yeah (Crass Version) - and all the cowbell you wished for in the nineties.

    In fact, if i were to compile a Best Zeroes’ Singles list next to this parade of albums, Losing My Edge/Beat Connection could very well be the number one. Losing My Edge comprises all that is LCD Soundsystem (and most of the bands who followed in their slipstream), and Beat Connection really is this decade’s Blue Monday in my opinion. Since the single was sort of officially declared dead somewhere during these past ten years, it’d be foolish to do that.

    highlights: Tribulations, Losing My Edge, Beat Connection
  • Zeroes’ Heroes 12: The Horrors - Primary Colours [2009]

    12 Jul 2009, 15:55 by SevenUp



    Over the course of the last 6 months of this decade, i’ll be putting together my favorite twelve albums of the years 2000 up to and 2009. Why twelve? It was too hard to actually cut it down to ten, and reviewing two albums a month seems like a good pace. Expect some safe choices, some incomprehensible ones, but most of all a record-collector having a go at recollecting an eclectic decade.

    And the toughest thing was picking the number 12 in this list. Because the last one slams the door in the face of every album hovering around the entrance, anxious to get in. Sorry Silent Alarm, sorry Gotham. Above that, the difficulty with including such a recent album in this kind of list is that you are very probably going to be embarrased by it sooner than you can imagine. That's why you won’t find any MBMT, Cut Copy or Vampire Weekend in this list, there’s that much that i’m willing to reveal in advance. The rest however, will remain a surprise until the end.

    So The Horrors are kicking off this list. A little reminder of who they are: founded in 2005 in Southend, England. Only a year later, they were that week’s hype in the NME. Their debut album Strange House, release Spring 2007 didn’t live up to the hype as usual. And all that despite their poofy haircuts or the grave-themed garage-rock, which seems like an excellent niche, right?

    In two years time though, The Horrors did what so few overhyped British bands have never been able to do, but which seems only so natural. They’ve grown, improved themselves and done so in an intelligent and stylish manner. The album is rare in the way that it’s veering off in different directions, but still sounds very homogenous, and demands to be listened to from head to start, reaching it’s ecstatic climax with Sea Within A Sea. 

Even though Primary Colours echoes many influences that are easy to pinpoint - Brian Eno/Kid A atmospheres, everything that happened on 4AD in the early 80s, The Cure, early Suede, Joy Division, this is one of those albums where these sources react with each other. And like Frankenstein’s monster, the sum of the parts is blessed with a heartbeat and a soul.

    And in this way, Primary Colours, although very much products of its times, stands out from so many other albums. Where bands like Editors, White Lies and blah blah blah mimic the antics and sounds of their influences, The Horrors seem to dig deeper. Because like Ian Curtis and friends, they are displaying the fact they are too music fans, that refuse to merely copy but instead express their love of their influences. Which sometimes means you build upon, and sometimes tear down what came before you. In that way it reminds me much of the first few listening turns i had of albums like Turn On The Bright Lights or Funeral, where even before the initial excitement of new strangeness/strange newness wears off, you get the idea there’s much more brilliance and craftmanship to be discovered in this solid recording in the coming years.

    So, this album is probably cursed that it was released this year. Were it a few years older perhaps it would have ended quite a bit higher on this list. So its position on number twelve is me being the precautious one really, and not the short-term thinker that includes only stuff here not older than two or three years. In the coming months, you’ll see what i mean by that.

    highlights: Primary Colours, Sea Within a Sea
  • The Shondes rocked Tritone

    30 Aug 2008, 06:06 by jakeslar

    Fri 29 Aug – The Shondes

    I enjoyed the show, they were great live! The female lead was a great stage presence, saucy and full-throated. The male violinist/vocalist was a talented musician who seemed like he was experiencing such great ecstasy while singing that it gave him a cherubic air. Tritone was a good venue for the event, intimate and held the crowd comfortably. The crowd was delightfully queer, a healthy turnout with lots of ladies and a visible trans presence. Good times, good times!
  • My Top 20 Favourite Songs Ever (As of 3rd May 2008)

    3 May 2008, 12:50 by MIR17

    20 songs which I love too much and have listened to about 806936396 times each. In order (the album they appear on is in brackets)

    20. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - The Good Son (The Good Son)

    19. Tom Waits - Road to Peace (Orphans)

    18. Red House Painters - Medicine Bottle (Down Colorful Hill)

    17. Nick Drake - Day is Done (Five Leaves Left)

    16. Elliott Smith - Bled White (XO)

    15. Lisa Germano - Crash (Slide)

    14. Neil Young - Down by the River (Everybody Knows This is Nowhere)

    13. Leonard Cohen - One of us Cannot be Wrong (Songs of Leonard Cohen)

    12. Joy Division - Atmosphere (Substance)

    11. Red House Painters - Summer Dress (Ocean Beach)

    10. Roy Harper - Me and My Woman (Stormcock)

    9. Neutral Milk Hotel - Oh Comely (In the Aeroplane Over the Sea)

    8. Nick Drake - River Man (Five Leaves Left)

    7. Neutral Milk Hotel - Two Headed Boy Pt 2 (In the Aeroplane Over the Sea)

    6. Radiohead - Motion Picture Sountrack (Kid A)

    5. Eels - Railroad Man (Blinking Lights and Other Revelations)

    4. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Hallelujah (No More Shall We Part)

    3. The Olivia Tremor Control - I Have Been Floated (Black Foliage Animation Music)

    2. Red House Painters - Katy Song (s/t [Rollerocaster])

    1. Elliott Smith - No Name #1 (Roman Candle)
  • new stuff

    14 Apr 2008, 18:57 by jimjim53

    Got some new tunes playing now
    Been downloading new stuff for the radio.
    Will be updating all the songs on the radio as soon as I finish these friggin nights
    Might even start doing a show again since imma off on the weekends
    will be the first time yous will hear my voice on the air....hope not to scare off to many folks.
    So keep an eye on me and as soon as I see what goes Ill let yous know time and day.
    love yous all much