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  • SCOPE by Olim

    31. Okt. 2011, 19:00

    SCOPE by olim

    This electronica compilation of remixes brought about by a teenager in his bedroom serves as something wonderful to behold - current remixers, eat your heart out, because this album was produced not with cutting edge technology, but with Audacity, a free sound editing software.

    The album starts off with the bassy, slightly haunting sound of Straw 61, before swinging into probably the biggest track of the album Do It Again / Acceptable in th, mixing Calvin Harris' Acceptable in the 80s with The Chemical Brothers' Do It Again, with seamless fading between the beats and an excellent drop two minutes in. From this hit to the next with Everybody Else, sampling Reverend and the Makers' Heavyweight Champion Of The World in a dancier remix than the original. The next track, Junk, could be a dance anthem in its own right, with excellent rise and fall in the melody and good rhythm. The simply entitled @ has an almost ghostly melody mixed in contrasting heavy beats, before moving on to the equally supernatural Static Static. The beats return on New Phase 1, sampled from an electronica track featured on EA's The Sims 2. Remixing big dance tunes continues with Somebody's Watching Me, in an excellently performed mix, before sliding seamlessly into aSLEEP, the favourite of most Last.fm listeners on this album. The album finishes with Technologic, (Can You Feel) My Love and Coma.

    All in all, this album is an excellent collection of electronica mixes, which could easily enough be found on the shelves as on this site, but is definitely worth checking out, whether or not you're an electronica fan.

    ****
  • 'Horchata' by Vampire Weekend

    12. Okt. 2011, 11:02

    (This review is a short practice one from my Journalism lecture, hope you enjoy it.)

    After the success of Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend have followed with ‘Horchata’, taking the African theme from their album and turning it into an atmospheric, percussion based tune with a hauntingly repetitive lyrical motif. It’s a different sound for the band, but with a free-to-download track, you can’t really complain.
  • [Bright Eyes + Jenny and Johnny]

    14. Jul. 2011, 12:03

    Wed 13 Jul – Bright Eyes, Jenny and Johnny
    Location: Leeds 02 Academy, UK

    The event kicked off at around 7:30pm thanks to some seriously organised set up by the bands' road team with the country-and-western-influenced musical stylings of Jenny (Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley fame) and Johnny (Johnathan Rice) who were first introduced by Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes.

    Their repertoire included songs such as Animal and Switchblade. They concluded a solid and well-received set with their most popular track (according to Last.fm listings), Big Wave.

    After a very brief interlude (I timed it to only be a mere twenty five minutes), Bright Eyes hit the stage with Another Travelin' Song, a song which successfully set the tone for the night. Their setlist was a clever mix of the old, the very old and the much newer; tracks from the early days of their career such as Bowl of Oranges and Lover I Don't Have to Love, favourites from Fevers and Mirrors such as Something Vague and The Calendar Hung Itself..., and of course a selection of tracks from their new album, The People's Key, including an amazing rendition of Shell Games, a haunting performance of Approximate Sunlight and a beautiful version of Beginner's Mind. There were some rather unexpected appearances of songs from Digital Ash in a Digital Urn, namely Arc of Time (Time Code) and Gold Mine Gutted. Their final song before the encore (when unfortunately, I had to leave) was Road to Joy, which lasted for somewhere in the region of around ten minutes due to some serious but nonetheless impressive ad-libbing by the band.

    In conclusion, the show appeared to be well constructed and catered to both new and old fans, although the bias seemed to be in favour of the older fans or ones who had bothered to search deep into the caverns of Bright Eyes' 16 years worth of songs. There was energy abound from their singer and a certain element of endearing awkwardness from the rest of the band (especially when Conor enthused them to speak about what they'd done during the day). All in all, it was an excellent show with Bright Eyes doing what they do best - what no-one expects them to.

    Rating: *****
  • [Propagandhi]

    2. Dez. 2009, 9:37

    Tue 1 Dec – Propagandhi, Strike Anywhere, Protest the Hero, The Final Crisis
    Location: Leeds Rio's, UK

    In order to attend this gig, I managed to wrangle my way home by way of coach, which is certainly easier said than done. I was also looking forward to the fact that I knew this was going to be a crazy punk rock show at a tiny venue.

    The Final Crisis - a local band - started the night off when very few people had arrived, but yet put on a good show on the cramped stage. And whilst they weren't really my kind of screamo (e.g. Envy, Angel Hair, Indian Summer), they struck me as the kind of band who have the potential to go places, especially with the current popularity of metalcore-type bands.

    Strike Anywhere were the next up - though I was pretty sure they'd be third on, but I digress. Their fantastic songs got the crowd going whilst delivering a political message, in true punk rock spirit. Their energy was close to being unmatched that night, with frontman Thomas Barnett jumping around all over the place and coming up on the barrier at least three or four times so that the crowd could join in with the singing. Their set was very well received by fans, some of whom seemed like they had attended purely to see Strike Anywhere.

    The next band was Protest The Hero. Again, another metalcore-style band, but significantly more established than The Final Crisis, Protest The Hero seemed to have one of the biggest fan turnouts that night, with lots of tall, tattooed metallers making their way to the front to watch their band. As much as (again) their music wasn't my thing, they put on a very good show with technically-skilled guitar riffs and pounding drum beats combined with Rody Walker's screams. My highlight of their set was the bass player, Arif Mirabdolbaghi, who is definitely the most insane bass player I have ever seen. I mean, I have never seen anyone else TAP A SOLO on a bass. Maybe it's just because I'm not really into the metal scene, I don't know, but either way it was rather impresive.

    After Protest The Hero was the one band that I'd really attended for, Propagandhi. The crowd really did go insane for them though, with circle pits and crowd surfers galore. Serious bruising came on my part, but that's what you get for insisting on standing at the front I suppose. From their slightly sneering introduction, the whole crowd seemed hooked on the energy that the band gave off. Their music was perfect, sounding almost precisely like their albums, except with a hell of a lot more atmosphere (obviously). They played a lot of songs from their newest album, Supporting Caste, including Tertium Non Datur, Potemkin City Limits, and my personal favourite of the night, Human(e) Meat (The Flensing of Sandor Katz). Unfortunately my friend and I had to leave early, so neither of us got to hear what is arguably the best track on the album, Dear Coach's Corner. But all in all, from what we saw, it was an amazing show and had a huge atmosphere for a conversely small venue.

    Rating: ****
  • [The Get Up Kids]

    19. Aug. 2009, 0:12

    Tue 18 Aug – The Get Up Kids, Spy Catcher
    Location: Manchester Academy 2

    Well, this concert was one particular one that I had initially thought that would never happen. The Get Up Kids. I doubted they would ever reform - and they did. I doubted I'd ever be able to see them. And now I have.

    The night started off with the Watford-based Spycatcher, who were an interesting and exciting first act and I would definitely like to see more of the band in the future - some of their songs really got the crowd going and their potential, in my opinion, is pretty huge. One riff during a particular song reminded me of renowned nineties emo band, Mineral. An interesting point regarding Spycatcher is that their frontman is the guitarist normally of Gallows fame.

    The Get Up Kids took to the stage after a short interval and kicked off with Coming Clean, so I thought that it would follow a similar track to Live @ The Granada Theater, but it didn't. They played a multitude of tracks from the epic Something To Write Home About, including - Holiday, the much-appreciated Ten Minutes, Action And Action, I'm a Loner, Dottie, a Rebel, and indeed, the amazing Valentine - incidentally, my favorite track of the night.

    Oddly, the band didn't play much from On A Wire - they only played Walking On A Wire and Campfire Kansas, which I considered odd as I thought the band would consider more tracks from that particular album - especially the popular Overdue. But I'm not complaining, of course, and neither were the fans.

    They also played other epics like Mass Pike, Martyr Me, Don't Hate Me and Holy Roman. It was also interesting to see them play the two covers which featured on Eudora: Beer For Breakfast (originally by The Replacements) which Matt Pryor described as 'ridiculous bullshit', and Close To Me (originally by The Cure).

    Their final song was the fantastic I'll Catch You, closing the night with a beautiful, sentimental tone and leaving the audience with warm hearts and the knowledge that The Get Up Kids were boys truly back in town.

    Rating: *****
  • [Kill Hannah]

    29. Sep. 2008, 0:41

    Location: The Cockpit, Leeds, UK

    Well it's the second time I've been to see Kill Hannah in one year, which isn't bad. I set off to the gig a little late, had I have been earlier I would've met Mat Devine, the band's singer, but in spite of this, I still got to hang out with Elias, the tour drummer. I waited a long time for the gig to start - the downside of being early.

    Serpico were the first support, and were not really to my taste (as before), although this time they were much better than the previous, playing with more confidence now that they had become used to touring.

    Second on were My Passion, who I thought were the least successful band of the night. I know quite a few people like them but they just seem like a cross between Enter Shikari and Mindless Self Indulgence that didn't turn out so great. Their music is very synth heavy with explicit lyrics and little substance - even their look appeared manufactured and commercialised in the modern "emo" trend.

    Exit Ten weren't bad - out of the support they were probably the best, but looking back, I remember very little of their setlist - but I blame general exhaustion - by this time I was cramped, very warm and very tired.

    Kill Hannah came on with the intro track, (Life In The Arctic) and followed up in album style, with Believer. The rest of the setlist contained: The Collapse, Kennedy, paper dolls, Black Poison Blood, Love You to Death, Crazy Angel and The Songs That Saved My Life. They also played a new track, Acid Rain. Almost predictably, but in the best sort of way, they finished with their biggest hit, Lips Like Morphine, concluding an excellently received set.

    Rating: ***
  • [The Rocket Summer]

    10. Jul. 2008, 23:01

    Location: The Cockpit, Leeds, UK

    Admittedly, when I was invited to this gig, I didn't quite know who was supporting, but there it goes and starts off with The Outline slamming out some decent rock tunes, finishing off with Shotgun, one of my favorites of theirs.

    Then next up was Melee, who were again considerably solid. Both The Outline and Melee did an 8 song setlist each.

    Then came The Rocket Summer who played with considerable presence in spite of their soft, piano driven rock. Choosing Break It Out to begin with, and then followed along with Do You Feel, Save, High Life Scenery, A Song Is Not A Business Plan, Colors, Taken Aback, Waiting and All I Have. Bryce Avery's anthemic lyrical style is perfectly suited for audience singalongs and there were cerainly plenty of those. Two encore songs followed, and both are huge numbers for The Rocket Summer - So Much Love and So, In This Hour.

    Overall, I was very impressed with how the band seemed to hold its own against the many gigs I've been to at The Cockpit. It wasn't quite a perfect performance, but it was certainly one to remember.

    Rating: ****
  • [Mindless Self Indulgence]

    23. Apr. 2008, 23:15

    Location: Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, UK

    The support band for this concert was Templeton Pek, who were of a decent standard; their songs were very stereotypical of the hardcore genre in terms of structure - but for an up-and-coming independent band, they were certainly more than passable.

    But, the main event - Mindless Self Indulgence. Starting off with one of seemingly everyone's favorites, Shut Me Up to get the place absolutely insane, following on through a 20 song setlist with light-hearted banter in between, they definitely held their own. Perhaps one of the best moments was when they played the typical MSI track Faggotand got a girl out of the crowd (who was dressed in pajamas) to sing the song with them, showing an excellent commitment to the fans which isn't often seen. Other songs were Bitches,Straight to Video, Revenge, What Do They Know?, Eveningwear, Capitol P, 1989...there's too many to even begin to remember.

    They finished with one of my favorites of all time in terms of Mindless Self Indulgence songs - I Hate Jimmy Page. And in typical Mindless Self Indulgence theatrics, the show concluded with frontman Jimmy Urine singing 'There's No Business Like Showbusiness', which is a standard finishing 'song' of theirs but humorous nonetheless. The band's pithy, fun-loving antics make them an impressive live show - if you can get past the considerably vulgar nature of their songs.

    Rating: ***