Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Matthew Lessner

A couple of months ago, I discovered two music videos that really stuck out in my mind. I rooted out some information, i.e. did some googling, and found that both were directed by the same man. This man is named Matthew Lessner.
He's an American filmmaker who has also written and directed a short film, which has very good reviews, starring Michael Cera (the Superbad and Arrested Development guy).

Anyhow, I won't let you wait any longer. Here are the two videos:

The first is the video for 'Stillness Is The Move' by Dirty Projectors, an "experimental rock band" (this is according to Wikipedia.. I wouldn't really call it rock). Amber Coffman (the frontwoman) has a unique and powerful voice, rather like Florence Welch's or even Bjork's. The eccentric looks of the women are likable, there are no boring-to-look-at-blondes; their clothes and make-up are alluring. The landscape is magnificent, almost fictional. The location is Mount Equinox, in Vermont. For me purity is a word that comes to mind when watching the video.

This is 'Surprise Hotel' by Fool's Gold, a Californian band with 11 members. I love the vibrant colours, the lively joyful elderly, the singing in Hebrew and the obvious African influence. I find the Western-African mix rather unusual. There's also some Brazilian stuff going on there I think, as there's either a snare or a caixa and shakers (these are Samba instruments - I played repinique mostly when I was in a Samba band called Rhythms Of Resistance. I started when I was 10 years old. Here's a picture of me I just found playing agogo on a march. I'm half everyone's size).
Anyway, the video is so atmospheric, it makes me will for summer to come sooner and to go traveling.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Drums

The Drums, the indie-pop band from New York, are the band of the month. Everyone's talking about them. People who are worth talking to are anyway.
'I Felt Stupid' and 'Let's Go Surfing' are simply lovely. Catchy and innocent. And summery! Again! More! Bring on the summer tunes!
So far they've only released the EP Summertime in 2009. Although that's understandable considering The Drums have only existed since 2008. I am waiting in anticipation for their self-titled debut album coming out in June.
For me, they are reminiscent of Jan & Dean (particularly the above picture). The rock 'n' roll duo were popular in the early '60s and are an early example of the surf music craze. Their most famous song is 'Surf City' (It appeared on the Brice de Nice soundtrack, which is also the reason I know about them. The film, about a silly wannabe surfer, is a French classic in my opinion - although apparently that's not universally thought as it has a 4.7/10 rating on IMDb).

I leave you with the fact that both Morrissey and Johnny Marr have been spotted at their gigs. Oh yes. They must be good.

Beach House

I really love 'Zebra' by Beach House. I like 'Silver Soul' and 'The Arrangement' too, but not as much as 'Zebra'. It really really reminds me of something, although I don't know what. I must have heard it on an advert... I just can't remember where I recognise it. But I like the nostalgic feeling I have whenever I listen to it. Inexplicable I must say.
It's hypnotic, dreamy, warm, makes me think of the word 'lull' and the image of a sunset.

Friday, April 23, 2010


Blur have released a single called Fool's Day.

Let me recap simply...
In 1999, Blur entered into a hiatus: Damon was busy creating Gorillaz, Graham went solo and Alex collaborated with people like Marianne Faithfull. Impressive stuff. I'm sure Dave was very busy doing something drummer-ish too...
In 2002 they agreed to record another album in Morrocco, except Graham Coxon had a few probs and left.
In 2003 therefore they recorded Think Tank without Coxon, which changed their sound (less pop, more electro and simpler riffs due to Damon having to play guitar).
They took another break, then in 2009 they got together again (including Coxon) to do a number of gigs. I went to one in Rough Trade East (the big one off Brick Lane), it was brilliant. Unfortunately I didn't go to Glastonbury last year, apparently they were epic.

On Saturday they released their first single for 7 years, 1000 copies of the limited edition 7" for Record Store Day. As you can imagine I am very very annoyed I didn't go to Record Store Day because they are now selling for £200 on eBay. They have also made the mp3 download free on their website however, which is nice of them. Although I've noticed it isn't the full song - it's cut off about a minute earlier than it usually ends.

Another lovely sunny song. I like the way it seems like he's singing about the day on which he recorded the song (''Porridge done, I take my kid to school''). I guess he did write it on April the 1st because it's called 'Fool's Day' and he sings 'Called out by the sun on the first day of April'. I guess that's obvious and I'm being slightly dim.
Anyway, it's spontaneous and honest and I like.

Kate Nash

I'm on a roll guys, anything to avoid quadratic and reciprocal graphs!

Kate Nash's second album, My Best Friend Is You, came out Monday (on the 19th of May).
Her debut, Made of Bricks, was totally addictive in my opinion, although many people thought it cool not to like her. Well I did like her. I've seen her live twice, once at Glastonbury and once, with my mate Georgia, in Rough Trade West (the really little one on Talbot Road). She was great both times.
'Foundations' has been her most popular song so far, reaching #2 in the charts 3 years ago.

My favourite songs on this new one are 'Kiss That Grrrl', 'I've Got a Secret' and, the single, 'Do-Wah-Doo' which entered the charts at #15. I really like most of them though, it is definitely one of those albums you can sit down and listen to all the way through.

Kate Nash - Do-Wah-Doo

Eliza Doolittle

Is she the new Kate Nash or Lily Allen? I think so.

Although I have made a couple of people listen to my favourite track of hers and so far the answer has been *shrug* "s'alright". I realise this isn't a good sign. I therefore am posting it up on here to see other reactions.

'Skinny Genes' is a fun summery tune, not that I'm a big fan of 21st century fun summery tunes, but I'm liking this one. Very catchy. Here's the vid:

I'm not too keen on the video to be honest, her face is rather annoying and I don't like the way it's obvious she's miming... but I like her clothes. Especially that gold and black dress.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Well I haven't posted anything for over a year now - how lazy of me... Parties to attend, exams to pass, you know.

The 19th of April 2010 was graced with the release of the album Swim by Caribou. The story is that he had never learned to swim until a year ago when his wife got him lessons for Christmas. He soon became obsessed, swimming everyday, and titled Caribou's next release 'Swim'.
Caribou is a Canadian - don't hold it against him - electronica person. His actual name is Daniel Snaith but he likes to go by the name Caribou (previously it was Manitoba but a so-called musician, a punk-rock New Yorker named Richard Manitoba, had threatened to sue him... Americans!). He is frequently compared to Four Tet who is also a 30-something year old electro with a moniker (he too, coincidentally, has just released a fab album named 'There Is Love In You').
I didn't get around to buying it yesterday (actually, embarrassingly, I thought the album was going to be released today so imagine my dismay when I saw that it had been out for a whole 24 hours before I purchased it - very uncool).
Where was I? Oh yes so I bought the album off iTunes, obviously Amazon is slightly cheaper but I forgot for a split second, all this revision seems to be making me somewhat slightly dazed.
It's great. It's more of the same from the previous album Andorra, which was fantastic. The best tracks on Andorra were 'Melody Day' and 'She's The One'. This album has some added Hot Chip-ness about it - particularly 'Odessa', the opening track.
'Sun' is similar yet different. The only lyric is the word 'sun' which is repeated over and over throughout the song. It's quite psychedelic. I like.

You can listen to the album on Spotify and buy it on Amazon or iTunes.

--- I have just realised that the album cover for 'Swim' is (perhaps on purpose?) practically identical to Hot Chip's 'Made In The Dark'... I don't know why this is. Quite strange.