Future’s looking odd

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Yet again I apologise for this being the first post in months, but you know how it is someone has to give Loose Women their ratings.

Lots has been going on in the music world recently hasn’t it? That guy from The Village People died, Pete Doherty has received another prison sentence, it was record store day, and bands have continued to release music. Not only bands, but Hugh Laurie has only gone and done a blues album. Dr. House plays the blues! Can you think of anything cooler than that? Thought not.

Unless you have been hidden under a rock for the past few months you will be aware of Odd Future and if not that bright young rap collective then Tyler, The Creator-their leader-but for those who are none the wiser I will continue. This LA based hip-hop crew have recently come into the limelight for their sharp rapping and even sharper views. As a collective of more than ten guys from the puppyish age 18 plus Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All (OFWGKTA) have been releasing mix tapes for free on their website for a while and have recently bubbled up as Big Earl went, and is still, missing and Tyler got a major label record deal. Rapping about subjects ranging from fathers, video games, rape, and homophobia they are earmarked for controversy as much as stardom. Their don’t give a fuck attitude and overuse of the word ’swag’ keeps them always in mind and their live performances are quickly becoming renowned; check out Tyler and Hodgy Beats on The Jimmy Fallon Show to find out why. Tyler’s debut album ‘Goblin’ has been released to mixed receptions, not that he cares anyway right? Whether you love them or hate them their is no denying that Odd Future are the next generation of hip-hop.

An even lesser known Manchester based band now WULYF or World Unite Lucifer Youth Foundation. What’s happened to band names these days remember when The Band worked just fine? Yeah me either. Anyway WULYF have managed to keep just about everything a mystery from band members to song titles and it’s refreshingly brilliant of them. When you know nothing you want to know everything. Their website is damn near impenetrable with seemingly random manifesto like statements dotted around, but you can make your way to discovering a few songs and by god are they worth the search. It’s indescribable, but think children singing Tom Waits and you’re some way to understanding. I urge everyone to check these guys out.

If you’re merely looking for some new music by some old favourites then you can stream the new Death Cab For Cutie album here http://www.npr.org/2011/05/22/136465054/first-listen-death-cab-for-cutie-codes-and-keys or check out Belong by The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, it’s a perfect indie-pop gem.

First of all a quick apology to anyone who tried to access to site recently only to find it was down, just a simple oversight on our part.

Due to a distinct lack of posting on my behalf recently I thought I would do a some mini-reviews of recent albums all in one place for you lovely souls out there that are just lost when we’re not telling you who to like.

Mogwai- Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will

A great and varied album from the veterans of post-rock. Last album The Hawk Is Howling, was a bit lack-lustre, HWNDBYW though is an album that goes from strength the strength. It is an album that will feel much more accessible to those just developing a love for the genre, while still sounding relevant to the hardened fans.

Frankie & The Heartstrings- Hunger

Pure unadulterated pop genius.

Esben and The Witch-Violet Cries

A strong début that takes you to dark and tempting tides. At times captivating this album of indie-pop ballads can also border on grating, not because of the music which is sharp, but the whispery, whimpering, slightly scratchy vocals. Check out the video for ‘Marching Song’ if it sounds like your thing, once you see it there’s no going back.

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Bright Eyes- The People’s Key

With a poppier sound than earlier efforts this could be the album that takes them mainstream. With all their senses intact Bright Eyes as usual deliver soul saving music and stark, clever lyrics. They are still the thinking man’s band.

Don’t forget to check out the new Arctic Monkey’s song ‘Brick By Brick’ and the latest tunes from The Strokes up-coming album.

Live: Hurts

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Hurts, Manchester Academy, 8/02/11

Everything about Hurts is epic. Now I’m well aware that word went out of fashion some point in the history of the world, but Hurts are bringing it back and it’s dressed in a lovely suit too. The only way you could describe this; the last date of their tour in their home town of Manchester, is as epic.

It’s only right then that one of the breakthrough bands of last year be supported by some of 2011’s hottest new talent, Clare Maguire. Maguire sadly is anything but epic. You can’t dislike her, but there just doesn’t seem to be enough passion in the world for me to even care about her. Dull is the word that comes to mind and onstage she is exactly this. She has a great voice and can belt out a tune there’s no denying, but then so can anyone from the over 25’s category on the x-factor. If you lived through the 90’s then you will be able to instantly conjure up what she sounds like by thinking of anyone who had a vaguely popular single that year. She did however wear a nice floaty dress in which you could see her underwear, so that’s something at least, she then proceeded to prance around the stage extending her arms at every available opportunity and waving them around. The audience obviously loved it because they are well dressed cutting edge indie folk who probably saw her perform in the café down the road from them while you were still an embryo.

I should probably now apologise to Clare Maguire and her fans for that sewage that just spewed from my fingers please feel free to leave horrible comments below.

Hurts. Luckily the main attraction offers up a much more delectable product for us to tap our collective and well styled feet to. With not much more than an albums worth of songs to offer up the set started with album opener and synth heavy ‘Silver Lining’ setting the chorus chanting tone of the gig. It’s hard to pick the biggest song of the night when all the songs are this big, but ‘Wonderful Life’ is a strong contender and the audience were always eager to please these local lads. Theo is possibly the best frontman around right now and works the mic-stand like nobody else; it was part prop, crutch, and propeller and allowed for some brilliant leaning which only emphasised key changes and choruses. Not big on the talking crowd-banter was kept to a minimum and clichés somehow avoided, this from the band who sings about rain more than the chart top 100 put together, but when Theo did offer us some pearls of wisdom it came in a northern drawl you just can’t get your head around.

As I’m sure many fans were, like me, upset about the distinct lack of Kylie Minogue the boys decided to throw in a cover of ‘Confide In Me’ to show her what she was missing. It was a highlight of the gig and sounded excellent in a strange Depeche Mode sort of way. They can’t escape the 80’s and to be honest who would want them to. The best summation of the gig I can think of is “They covered Kylie and it was fucking awesome.”

With only a one song encore I had wondered what was left for them to play until ‘Better Than Love’ kicked in with its strong vocal “Every second is a life-time.” Hurts might be good on record, but they are and will become ever greater live;  with all the components coming into play from dazzling light shows, sing-alongs, and stage presence working together to make them an unstoppable force.

With more material on the way Hurts are definitely one to watch.

Computers and Blues

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Review: The Streets- Computers and Blues [Atlantic]

The new The Streets album ‘Computers and Blues’ hits stores tomorrow folks.

The fifth and final album from Mike Skinner has been doing the rounds on the internet for a good few weeks, but finally it’s time for an official release from the man himself. Skinner is “fucking sick” of the name and the connotations that now go with it which is why this will be his last release under the moniker.

Working closely with Rob Harvey, of The Music, this album is unlike anything he has ever done before and showcases the vocal talents of Harvey and BBC sounds of 2011 nominee Clare Maguire. Computers and Blues is brash and in your face, Skinner has done what he set out to do and created an album you can “dance and drink tea to.”

The first single from the album ‘Going Through Hell’ has a great rock dynamic to it from Harvey and the riff running right down the middle of the track. Skinner is great at adapting his style to suit those he works with and in the process getting the best sound for everyone involved. Lyrics are on biting form “imagine the dilemma for the man and his penance if he could get fucked without hanging his health up would this be illegal would the Daily Mail rail on it?”

It’s a shame Skinner feels he no longer wants to be associated with The Streets, it almost detracts from his creations and he is a modern day poet, don’t let anyone tell you different, “I’m pretty good at puzzles, but puzzled by people.” That lyric gets to the heart of the issue, people associate Skinner with things he’s moved on from; i.e drugs. His most accessible album to date could possibly be his best. Die hard fans might complain about the up-beat pop melodies that are at the forefront of Computers and Blues, but Skinner still retains what made him great, an ear for a brilliant beat and a top-notch rhyme.

Lets hope this is only the end of The Streets and not Mike Skinner.

Check out: Without Thinking

Ten Greatest Albums Of 2010!

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It’s December and that means only one thing, time for lists! Oh and probably Christmas too, but what is Christmas without a good list. I’d make a top ten Christmas list if I had any idea what that even means, but since I don’t I’m going to be highly original and do lists of the best albums, films, and anything else that takes my fancy.

It’s a joyous time for me so get on board because otherwise this wont be much fun for you.

Let’s start with albums shall we. Now 2010 in music has been quite exciting and though some of the biggest bands going have released new albums and some even bigger bands have reformed, it’s new music that has come into the light this year and scooped all the prizes. Before you ask, no, Laura Marling will not be in this list or mentioned in any way from here on out because she should smash her boring guitar into her boring face and die a boring acoustic death.

So here it is, after much in house discussion, my top ten albums of 2010!

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