Sunday, 29 June 2008

Radiohead: from the Basement to Downunder?

This week saw the release of the itunes exclusive Radiohead In Rainbows - From the Basement recorded in producer Nigel Godrich's little old basement. Grab it on itunes for some emotional 'alone time' with you and the boys. 

When Thom Yorke gazes directly at you in Nude with his lazy eye right down the camera it is hard not not be moved. The intensity in Videotape will probably make you cry, check it out here. This video collection reminds us of why we love Radiohead and what stunning live performances they dish out time and time again.

So this begs the question... Is it time yet, are they coming, when will they grace Australia with the In Rainbows tour? Stay tuned for more.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Countdown To Glastonbury: Free music

Mini Post: The gates of Glastonbury are open! To get you in the mood, The Guardian Music are offering a free download album of bands playing the festival. Get your Yeasayer, Crystal Castles, Glasvegas, Shortwave Set, UNKLE, Neon Neon and more right here. S'good stuff.

1,000,000 punishing in rehearsal

Mini Post: This is brutal, bring on the European and Australian shows. Link, you still want more? Update--> echoplex

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Girl Talk Unleashes a Feeding Frenzy

Completed just two weeks ago, Girl Talk’s new album Feed the Animals is available now by means of a “pay-what-you-want” Radiohead-style download.

Part of the DJ’s reason for choosing an online release was to get this material out while it was still fresh. Fresh it is, including snippets of current club hits Low (Flo Rida), Flashing Lights (Kanye West), Lollipop (Lil Wayne), and 4 Minutes (Madonna), mixed together with classics from the likes of Twisted Sister, The Cure, Aphex Twin, Metallica and Michael Jackson.

To get an idea of just how many samples there are in this 55 minute party jam, check out this still growing Wikipedia entry.

Much like 2006 breakthrough Night Ripper, the album is a Frankenstein-like creation of mashed up tracks that jump from sample to sample, genre to genre, never staying in one place for more than a few seconds - perfect for those with a short attention span, or an acute case of ADD.

The album is made to be listened to as a single track, but the highlight for me would be Still Here: it moves from BLACKstreet No Diggity to Kenny Loggins Flashdance, via Beck, Radiohead, Ace of Base and Cat Stevens.

Go to the illegal art website to download the album for yourself. If you choose to pay no_dollars_no_cents, you will be asked to justify this by answering a few multiple choice questions. Pay more than $5 and you will get access to higher quality files, more than $10 and you will be sent the physical CD as soon as it is released.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

There's a Buy One Get One Free on Psychedelic Rock

Mercury Rev, the band who gave us Deserter's Songs, which is, in this writer's opinion, one of The Greatest Albums Ever Made, are about to return with not one, but two new albums.

I mention this partly because nobody else on the internet seems to have noticed, partly because I like Mercury Rev, and partly because, interestingly, you only have to pay for one of them.

While Snowflake Midnight will be given a conventional release on September 29th, its 'companion album', Strange Attractor will be made available from the band's website as a free download. And not just for people who buy Snowflake Midnight, but for anyone who wants it.

The tracklistings show the 'Rev at their pretentious and ridiculous best:

Snowflake Midnight
Snowflake In A Hot World
Butterfly's Wing
Senses On Fire
People Are So Unpredictable (There's No Bliss Like Home)
October Sunshine
Runaway Raindrop
Dream Of A Young Girl As A Flower
Faraway From Cars
A Squirrel And I (Holding On... And Then Letting Go)

Strange Attractor
Love Is Pure
Taken Up Into The Clouds, Changed And Rained Down
Pure Joie De La Solitude
Persistence And The Apis Mellifera
Fable Of A Silver Moon
Loop, Lisse, Loop
In My Heart, A Strange Attractor
Incident On Abeel Street
Af Den Fader Kommer Den Sol
Because Because Because
Nocturne For Norwood.

They're doing a big tour in the second of half of the year to support the albums. Details of the albums and the tour on their myspace.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Countdown to Glastonbury: Top Tips

So Bawley’s Hummer is going to Glastonbury. And I’m not. But rather than just sulk about this state of affairs, and because we at Bawley like lists, I thought I’d do something productive, and share my years of experience in the trenches to bring you my top ten top tips for a tip top time on Worthy Farm.

I’m Nick, by the way. I’m new here.

1. Ignore the weather forecast.

It will be wrong. That’s pretty much your one Glastonbury certainty. There is such a thing as a hot, dry Glastonbury (I’ve been to one!) But if it rains (and it probably will) you will need wellies. And it’s much better to bring them with you before you go, because as soon as the site starts getting muddy, the queues at the welly shops become reminiscent of Communist Russia. And even when it’s hot during the day, the site gets really bloody cold at night, and not even the pear cider will keep you warm. So, basically, pack for every possible weather condition.

But if anyone’s asking, I reckon it’s going to be a scorcher this year.

2. Get to the Stone Circle.

Preferably for sunrise or sunset. Help yourself to a flaming torch, sit back, take in the spectacular view over the whole site, and enjoy the atmosphere of the Best. Campfire. Ever.

3. Bring your own booze.

One of the brilliant ways that Glastonbury differs from pretty much any festival on the planet is that it’s a total alcohol free-for-all. You can bring as much booze as you want with you, and you can take it anywhere on the site, which means that you’re not limited to queueing up for overpriced poor quality lager served to you in a flimsy paper cup. The only (legal) thing you’re not allowed to bring on site, though, is glass, because the site’s a working farm most of the year, and broken glass hurts the cows’ feet. So you just need to decant any wine or spirits into something plastic before you get there. My tip, drinks wise, is a few nice boxes of red wine – easy to carry, no glass, and you don’t need to keep it cold.

4. Be prepared for the toilets.

Widely acknowledged as The Worst Thing About Glastonbury but really not that bad. You’ve basically got four types: urinals (for girls too! The She-Pee apparently works well. I don’t fully understand it, but it involves a cardboard funnel); then there’s Portaloos; long drops and a few proper flushing toilets up near the farmhouse and in the Green Fields. The urinals are fine, as are the long drops and flushing toilets, but avoid the Portaloos at all costs. And don’t forget the bogroll.

5. Try the pear cider.

It’s the true taste of Glastonbury! It’s almost impossible to get hold of anywhere else, so the Pear Cider from the
Brothers Bar is a treat. Drink enough of it, and it starts doing strange and wonderful things to your head, and can make The Pigeon Detectives sound like Pink Floyd. And that’s a good thing.

6. Think about tent placement.

It’s a big site. Really big. And there are lots of fields to camp in. Some fields are near the stages, some aren’t, some a quiet, some are noisy. Some are flat, some are hilly. Most people have a theory about which are the best fields to camp in, but I don’t think it matters too much, just as long as you observe the following rules:

a) Be close to the toilets but not TOO close (you want easy access, but you really don’t want to be able to smell them.

b) Steer clear of the main paths because it’s amazing how loud people can be when they’re drunk and walking past your tent at 3 in the morning.

c) Stick to higher ground. Remember the floods?

d) Try to put your tent somewhere memorable, or make it distinctive (flags are good for this). You’ll be amazed how many tents look EXACTLY LIKE yours in the dark.

7. Get lost.

It’s a cliche, but the best things about Glastonbury are the bits far away from the main music stages. The circus, the healing fields, the ti pi fields, the smaller music stages and the like are all amazing, as are the people you’ll see there, and that’s what really makes Glasto the best festival on the planet. Make sure you take plenty of time to wander round the whole site. You really can have a great time without seeing any bands at all.

8. Beware the ATM queue.

There are a lot of opportunities to spend money at Glastonbury. There are fields filled with novelty t-shirts, drug paraphernalia and hand-crafted hippy shit. Unfortunately there are somewhat fewer opportunities on site for getting your hands on your cash. There’s a bank on site with five ATMs that don’t charge fees, and a few others around the site that’ll charge you a couple of quid, but, for a hundred and fifty thousand people, it’s not quite enough. So bring cash with you, but obviously keep it safe (tent robberies and pick pocketing is actually much rarer than you think at Glasto, but it does happen) and if you have to get cash, try to do it early in the morning or late at night when the queues are much much smaller and you’re not missing bands. However, if that band is
Hard Fi, you’ll probably have more fun queuing for a cash machine and celebrating the irony.

9. Go and see a band you’ve never heard of.

They might just become your new favourite. I discovered Bright Eyes that way, and I first encountered a little-known band called The Killers about halfway down the bill on one of the smallest stages. They won’t amount to anything, I thought to myself.

10. See a headliner on the Pyramid stage.

Having said that it’s best to explore and make sure you get around the smaller stages and all the non-musical stuff Glastonbury has to offer, and despite the fact that non of the headliners this year are what might be described as ‘unmissable’; there’s something about the Pyramid that brings out the very best in bands and audiences, so make sure you see at least part of one of the headline sets. Famously, Radiohead rose to the indie-rock superleague after their performance in 1997, and their performance in 2003 was simply one of the greatest things I've ever seen.

My tip this year would be Jay-Z. With all the controversy surrounding his appearance this year, and with the rumoured guest appearances and what will certainly be a spectacular light show, I think he’ll be pretty awesome.

11. Ignore all of the above.

It’s Glastonbury, innit! It’ not about rules, man. It’s about the vibe. Man.

Friday, 13 June 2008

Two 'heads are better than one.

Seems like an age since Bawley posted anything Radiohead related. Correcting the situation we direct you to this video of Radiohead covering Portishead's The Rip.

The video was recorded backstage as the In Rainbows tour stopped in St Louis, Missouri. There are more Radiohead live, backstage, and behind the scenes videos available to members of w.a.s.t.e. central the Radiohead social networking site.

It is unlikely we will be seeing any backstage videos or new live footage from Portishead for a while, they have said they will not be doing any more touring in support of their brilliant new album Third until at least 2009.
"I don’t think we are going to be doing any more gigs this year,”
“But we’ll possibly do some next year.” - Adrian Utley, on BBC 6 Music

Monday, 9 June 2008

Phoenix vs Bawley

This week the Bawley and Phoenix crews have come together to celebrate the close of the inaugural Phoenix Film Festival season Bringing Back the Best.

To mark the occasion we have put together a list of the top 8 songs in film.

Each song has been selected for its musical value, importance to the scene or movie in which it appeared, and of course for the good times.

8 Fight Club: Where is my Mind - The Pixies (video)

7 The Goonies: Goonies are Good Enough - Cyndi Lauper (video)

6 Pretty in Pink: OMD - If You Leave (video)

5 Garden State: Don’t Panic - Coldplay (video)

4 Little Miss Sunshine: Chicago - Sufjan Stevens (video)

3 Top Gun: Danger Zone - Kenny Loggins (video) / Take My Breath Away - Berlin (video)

2 The Breakfast Club: Don't You (Forget About Me) – Simple Minds (video)

1 Napoleon Dynamite: Canned Heat - Jamiroquai

You can check out the latest from the Phoenix Flim Festival here.

Bawley Bonus! two moody feature length film scores

= Zidane, a 21st Century Portrait - Mogwai (video)

= There will be Blood - Jonny Greenwood (video)

Pacman Rocks!

Crystal Castles are a Toronto based 8-bit Atari group, consisting of multi-instrumentalist Ethan Kath and vocalist Alice Glass, the duo have made a name for themselves through a few limited release EPs, a blistering live set, and some popular remixes of Bloc Party (Hunting for Witches), Klaxons (Atlantis to Interzone) and Uffie (Pop the Glock). Crystal Castles have now gone back to these remixes and EPs to put together their debut self titled album.

Opening with Untrust Us which samples the opening bars from Death From Above 1979’s Dead Womb, and loops them over and over forming the vocal for the track that pushes you higher and higher, Alice Practice cuts in with a bang, beep, blip sounding something like a penny arcade from hell.

Crimewave and Magic Spells give the listener some space to absorb the record, but just as you get comfortable Xxzxcuzx Me breaks out with the kind of sound I can only imagine coming from a Mrs Pacman and Super Mario fronted metal band. Air War follows which is again all blips and beeps but here they are intelligently put together into a smart little song that delivers the album into its best moments.

The highlights of Crystal Castles’ debut are spread across the middle four tracks starting with current single Courtship Dating, controversially sampled by Timberland for the 50 Cent and Justin Timberlake single Ayo Technology, Courtship Dating allows Glass to stop screaming and prove herself as a singer, the result is a pop song that will do well on the dance floor of many indie clubs.

Good Time is as much a reworking of Drinking Electricity’s Good Times as it is a Crystal Castles original, but no matter the origins it is exactly as the title suggests a good time track, short instrumental 1991 leads in to another remix/original Vanished which samples the vocals and melody of Sex City by Australians Van She (Vanished//Van She, you see what they did)

Knights, Love and Caring, Through the Hosiery and Reckless keep the album moving as it progresses into dance or even rave territory reaching hands in the air euphoria in Black Panther.

Closing out the album is the dreamy acoustic guitar lead Tell Me What To Swallow.

In all Crystal Castles heavy use of samples makes their sound familiar but totally new at the same time, the resulting album is a surprisingly good one, one that uses all the tricks in the Nintendocore tool box but importantly knows that a little restraint can be more satisfying than losing your last quarter chasing the impossible bonus cherry. - 1UP

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Middle Eastern-Psych-Snap-Gospel

Despite Yeasayer’s debut album All Hour Cymbals (released November 2007) appearing towards the top of many best of 2007 lists it was not until the wonderful 2080 single started getting radio play in Australia that Bawley paid much attention to the experimental four piece from Brooklyn.

Since then our affection for Yeasayer has grown and grown, their take on the world music meets indie (or afro-beat) is in this writers opinion far superior to anything that has come from the massively hyped Vampire Weekend or Born Ruffians.

Go here to check out a brilliantly executed live set from Yeasayer, recorded on a chilly rooftop as part of the Don’t Look Down series.

Showing Some Support - Now Everyone Is Doing It

Earlier in the week Bawley introduced you to the acts supporting Nine Inch Nails on their upcoming North American tour. Clearly taking his lead from this blog Trent Reznor is using to do likewise.
I assume some of you may not be entirely familiar with the acts I've chosen to join us on various legs of this tour, so we've compiled a sampler EP for you. CLICK HERE to download this for free. If you like what you hear, be sure to show up early to the show (and please remember to support them by purchasing their music, if so inclined).
Download the tracks for yourself and be sure let us here at Bawley know what you think.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Cheap Shot - Shit lookalikes

I'm sorry, let me make it up to you with this, a live video of The Cure playing 10:15 Saturday Night, the b-side from their first ever single, still sounds brilliant. Full tour dates.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Showing Some Support

Having previously invited along the likes of Ladytron, Peaches, TV on the Radio and Saul Williams to open their headline shows Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor has a habit of picking great support acts, acts that don't always fit the industrial rock mould.

For this summer's North American tour Nine Inch Nails have invited along the five noise merchants straight from the indie blog-sphere.
A Place To Bury Strangers
Crystal Castles
Does It Offend You, Yeah?
White Williams
So are they any good and how will the Nine Inch Nails crowd react to each of these acts

A Place To Bury Strangers
"New York's Loudest Band", quite a claim but one that on listening to their self titled debut seems wholly appropriate. Clearly influenced by The Jesus and Mary Chain APTBS are all feedback and space rock, their sound is similar to that of previous NIN supports Serena Maneesh, if given the chance they will please most people who get to the shows early.

Crystal Castles
This Canadian two piece come with a brand new album and reputation for putting on an ear-shattering live show this should see their club inspired noise win over the rock oriented crowds.

With a new album due later this year expect post punk band Deerhunter to use this tour to test out some new material. Deerhunter claim influences similar to NIN and they should have no problems translating there live show to the bigger stage.

Does It Offend You, Yeah?
Terrible band name! You Have No Idea What You Are Getting Yourself Into... terrible album title! DIOY,Y? borrow the cowbell and baselines from Justice, MSTKFT, and Klaxons add some rock attitude and compress it all down to 3 minute pop songs, this does not make for great bean bag/bath tub listening, but should whip up one hell of a dance party, any one say nu-rave? I can't see the NIN audience pulling out fluro headbands and glo sticks but maybe a few butts will start shaking, maybe.

White Williams
While I love the album art on Williams latest album Smoke, I don't think his brand of lo-fi electro pop is really my thing and suspect that come 31st August when Williams walks on to the Lexington Kentucky stage he will have a battle on his hands to win over the sometimes difficult NIN crowd.

Check the full list of dates here.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

I've Got A Dirty Secret

Whilst The Dirty Secrets album has been out since April I only picked it up a couple of weeks ago. Sounding like a cross between The Killers and a mix of Interpol and Editors the band is one of my favourites at the moment. 

Another fantastic Australian album this one from Sparkadia was released this Saturday with the bawley crew grabbing their copy of Postcards minutes after stores opened. At first listen this is a great album which is getting lots of attention and airplay on Triple J. Album opener Too Much To Do is a favourite but there are plenty of other quality tracks making the album one worth getting your hands on.

Unfortunately The Dirty Secrets and Sparkadia won't be calling on Canberra on their recently announced tour so the raddad kids will be making their way to Sydney to catch both bands on 21 June at the Annandale Hotel.

Bonde Do Rolê Rock Canberra at the Warehouse Winter Music Festival

First impressions upon entering the AIS Arena for Saturday’s Warehouse Winter Music Festival - wow! The Friction/Lexington Music boys know how to throw a party! Following on from the success of Foreshore last December the boys decided to step it up and bring some huge international acts to the capital including Utah Saints, Mix Master Mike, Bonde De Rolê, DJ A Skillz and headliners Hybrid.

With three separate spaces there was something for everyone ensuring that the festival was rocking all day and night. The smaller spaces of The Club and The Terrace provided a little retreat from the vastness of The Arena’s main stage. The Club decked out with old TV’s and a distinct 90’s vibe rocked all day with festival goers floating between the three stages. Game Boy/Game Girl were one of the highlights here bringing their quirky and nerdy live act to Canberrans for the first time. Meanwhile out on The Terrace playing from the back of a Dodge pickup Canberra’s Michael O’Rourke, Sean Kelly, Club Junque and many others provided luscious tunes to those preferring to chill out in the beer garden. Later in the night however, The Terrace looked more like a messy, trashy, backyard party perhaps at Corey’s house, however it continued to provide an escape from the The Arena when ears needed a rest!

There is no doubt however that The Arena was the place to be. In fact you could have danced your booty off all day at the main stage. With an amazing stage set up like a boom-box, complete with DJ’s playing from the cassette deck, killer audio visuals, perfect sound and psychedelic lighting it was clear the organisers had not skipped out on any extras ensuring the perfect dance festival vibe. It really did feel like a mid-90’s rave only surrounded by about 7000 people!

Fashion is always a highlight of any festival and the Warehouse was no exception. In many ways it was the war of fluro versus the flannie, or perhaps the changing of the guard. Whichever it was we’re not sure which is the better of the two evils. It is however endlessly entertaining to see boys attempting to ‘be cool’ with fluro head bands and short cut-off jeans. It comes to a point where you wonder ‘Did you look in the mirror and think, yeah I look h-o-t in this?’, nonetheless the fashion added to the festival vibe with a sea of flannies jumping and dancing in unison to the crashing sounds in The Arena.

Kid Kenobi played a tight set, although making the oh so awful faux pas of addressing the crowd as ‘ladies and gentleman, Sydney!’, this is Canberra kid. Nevertheless, the crowd loved getting down to the duo’s mix including Justin Timberlake, Dizzee Rascal, Kate Bush and The Presets, although the My People vocals are without doubt best left in the capable hands of Julian Hamilton. I guess it’s impressive you could see MC Shureshock’s pecs from over 100 metres away. Is it? I’m still not sure.

Next up Mix Master Mike took to the stage representing Beastie Boys seamlessly continuing the high-energy vibe developing in The Arena. His mastery was not lost on the Canberra crowd with many fans in awe of Mix Master Mike’s amazing turntablist skills. Highlights of his set included Blur’s Song 2 and of course for all the Beastie Boys fans _Intergalactic_ got the crowd pumping. In a surprise addition to the lineup, UK’s DJ A Skillz dropped some beats and took the crowd to where they needed to be, a state of elation, with a mix that included Daft Punk, Fat Man Scoop and Michael Jackson.

But it was the high-energy live act Bonde De Rolê that many were waiting in anticipation for. This may have mostly been the non fluro/flannie contingent of the crowd as they seemed to look confused when the sexy but unconventional Brazilian's brought their rocking indie funk/pop/metal to the stage. With their hot dance moves slamming hips backwards and forwards they delighted the crowd with Office Boy, Marina Gasolina finishing up with Solta o Frango. Friends of the crazy Brazilian's Game Boy/Game Girl joined in on the craziness as well. Bonde De Rolê were one of the absolute highlights of the festival.

Next up The Potbelleez kept the vibe going with Dave Goode and Jonny Sonic on the decks and Blue MC and Ilan Kidron providing live vocals, the energy and excitement was palpable. The crowd went crazy when the Sydney based foursome played Warehouse anthem Don’t Hold Back live. Are You With Me and Duuurty Dreemz were also crowd favourites.

In what is a worldwide resurgence of dance music, 90’s dance sensation Utah Saints played their first ever show in Australia at the Warehouse Festival, in what the boys acknowledged as a ‘special night for them’. And they certainly showed us just why the resurgence of 90’s dance music is so cool. The 7000 strong crowd went crazy for the Van She Tech remix of hit Something Good, as the Leeds boys controlled the euphoric crowd like any good DJ should. But these two aren’t just any DJ’s, they are the Utah Saints and they busted out a killer set which included Michael Jackson, ACDC and Kate Bush. The message here kids is lose the fluro and dig out that vintage Hypercolour tee, the 90’s are back.

Finishing up this fantastic Canberra festival was fellow Englishmen Hybrid delivering their trance/house beats to the crowd. By this point, most of the crowd had been dancing for a good 7 or 8 hours but they clearly had a little left in the tank for Hybrid.

The obvious success of the Warehouse Winter Music Festival leaves Canberrans on the edge of our collective seats as we await the announcement of the lineup for the Foreshore Summer Music Festival. Can’t wait boys!