Monday, 27 October 2008

Sparkadia: This Boy's In Love

Early on Friday morning, two of Bawley’s favourite acts (1,2) came together when Sparkadia covered The Presets This Boy’s In Love for triple j’s Like A Version.

Sparkadia’s use of delicate guitars and pitch perfect harmonies reminded me that The Presets are more talented song writers than some of their cheesier dance floor filling tracks suggest.

You can watch and make up your own mind when the performance is replayed on triple j tv - 8pm Monday night, ABC2.

Sparkadia, who also played Postcards track Jealousy, are currently touring widely: see k-rad’s review of their Canberra show here.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Standing in a Record Store Staring at the Sea (4:13 Dream)

This morning I woke up feeling good and wasted no time on the way to the record store, my fist full of cash, my ears ready for 4:13 Dream the new album from The Cure.

Scanning the new releases shelf I couldn’t see the Parched Art cover anywhere, on asking the spotted teenage shop attendant I am told “It aint out 'til Monday” – Wrong!

I begrudgingly walk down the high street and in to HMV, Kate Perry playing on the stereo and a staff comprised of kids who have had less birthdays than The Cure have number one albums, I walk out feeling ill (and empty handed).

Over to my friends at Amazon, with any luck next mail I will be listening to Robert Smith at his gloomy best. Of course when shopping at Amazon the more you buy the cheaper the postage, come back soon for a review of Deerhunter’s Microcastle.

PS: You can stream 4:13 Dream from The Cure’s myspace. It is pretty good :)

Friday, 24 October 2008

The Smiths to reform?

This morning’s UK papers are reporting that The Smiths are set to reform and headline next years Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

A source tells The Sun:
"It has looked impossible in the past but suddenly it all looks like it could happen. The buzz around the people who used to work for the band is they could play Coachella for a ludicrous amount of money.”
Remembering the band have previously turned down 2.8 million pounds to play the event, the money on offer this time must really be ludicrous.

Another explanation is this nothing more than talk to get you excited about Morrisey’s upcoming autobiography.

Gomez comeback

I realise that I'm increasingly in the minority with this viewpoint, but I still regard Gomez as one of the best British bands there is.  There's a lot to love across their five albums so far.

Good news, then, that they return with a new album at the beginning of next year.

This is how the band describe it on their blog:

Where the hell have we been? Answer: making the God dam best freakin' record you ever did hear....will hear. Jeeez! Leave it owt wud cha! Yours truly along with the other cats have been beavering away writing hit singles, epic anthems, toons to make you ass wiggle, it's all in there, on the hotly anticipated new album. The release date is yet to be confirmed but the first quarter of next year is looking good. The record is expected to pick up innumerable awards from around the Globe, an effortless standard the Five Englishmen have attained.

The record has been made with Brian Deck in Chicago, Virginia, with additional Horns recorded in Brooklyn and Amy Milan singing in LA. We finished the final session last week after being in and out of the studio over the course of the last year in a drunken mess (which was nice), followed by a frenzy of mixing this week. Finally some special news, Gomez's Christmas single "Are you going to the Pub" will be bringing delight to Children's ears before you know it.

The band have recently been playing their Mercury Award winning album, 'Bring It On' in Europe and the US, and travel to Australia in January for the Falls, Byron Bay and Southbound festivals, and a few sideshows with the Black Keys.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Kele wants your sexy problems.

Mini Post As part of Bloc Party's takeover of UK newspaper The Guardian, Kele Okereke is turning agony aunt to help readers with their problems over the next few weeks.  And Kele has apparently specifically requested your "sexy questions".  

Also on the site: cooking with Matt Tong, and the band's musical map of London.

Classic Rock from LCD Soundsystem main man.

James Murphy the man primarily responsible for LCD Soundsystem’s 2007 master piece Sound of Silver has today revealed to 6Music that he has been working on a new album with a new band in a new style (well new for Murphy at least).
“It’s a rock record, a classic rock record”
The marvellous Sound of Silver was a dance record that succeeded because it had the feel of an old rock record. Will the new band deliver a classic rock record that has the feel of a modern dance album? I look forward to finding out.

The new band has yet to decide on a name, but you can expect to hear more from them in early 2009.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Radiohead: It's Up To You Sales Data Published

There has been a lot going on in Iceland of late: street press wars, environmental protest songs, something about a financial crisis, and this week the You Are In Control conference hit Reykjavik.

The conference focused on distribution and income models for artists in the age of social networking, free downloads and diminishing attention spans.

On day one of the conference, some statistics on sales of Radiohead’s In Rainbows were revealed, and it is pretty amazing.
  • The album was a No. 1 in five major markets.
  • The album went to No. 1 on US iTunes selling 30,000 downloads in the first week.
  • The physical CD has sold in excess of 1.75 million copies.
  • Including 100,000 copies of the premium box set.
All this after being available as a free (It’s up to you) download for a full two months prior to its proper release.

Is this evidence enough to encourage others to use similar release models, not sure? Does it prove that downloads don’t kill sales, I think so.

Kevin Mitchell is sick of singer songwriters/Bob Evans goes rock

Kevin Mitchell has just returned home from Nashville where he has recording a new Jebediah album as well as new tracks for Goodnight Bullcreek!, his third album under the Bob Evans moniker.

Speaking on triple j’s drive show Mitchell mentioned that he has had enough of whinny singer songwriters,
“every time I saw a guy with an acoustic guitar singing his heart out I just thought shit that's me!"
and on his new album we can expect a little more rock.
"I played a lot of electric guitar. Every time the tender guy came out I just stepped on the distortion and went shut up!"
I am sure a few of you will be anticipating Goodnight, Bullcreek!'s April/May 2009 release.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Keeping it Peel

It's four years since the death of John Peel. There's lots and lots all over the internet about why he was held in such high regard by so many, expressed much better than I could. But here's a couple of my personal experiences.

I, like so many other people who grew up in the UK from the 1960s onwards, have fond memories of staying up late to listen to Peel's Radio 1 show, during which he'd play some of the most obscure and brilliant music there ever was. An awful lot of unlistenable crap too, but that was part of the charm. And it was all tied together with anecdotes and ramblings that were warm and witty and passionate and frequently better than the songs he played. My friends and I used to listen religiously back in our school days, and I recall an occasion when myself and some of my friends attempted to organise a night out by no other means than getting John Peel to read our messages to each other on national radio. Emails were still something of a novelty to Peel, back in the mid 90's, and we noticed that if we chucked in a few references to obscure bands he liked, he'd read out pretty much anything that we sent him. We were actually successful in getting him to organise for the entire group of us to meet at particular pub at a particular time purely by reading out our stupid messages to his audience of millions on Radio One. He seemed genuinely pleased to be able to help us arrange our evening. There weren't many DJs who'd offer that kind of personal service.

I never met Peel, but I saw him in person once. I spotted him at the side of the stage during Spiritualized's headline performance in the New Bands Tent at Glastonbury in 2004. It was clearly Peel's natural habitat - a stage for up and coming bands, and bands that belonged well outside of the mainstream. As far as I could gather, he'd stayed at the side of that stage all day, watching as many bands as he could. I was struck by how enthusiastic he still was about live music, despite having surely seen thousands of bands in his time. Four months later, he was dead, but by the time Glastonbury rolled round again, the following year, the New Bands Tent wasn't called the New Bands Tent anymore. It was called The John Peel Stage. Fitting.

He's greatly missed.

Listen: Mitch Benn's John Peel tribute

Monday, 13 October 2008

Happy 100th Post

On day one we were asked who is Bawley?
“Bawley is a collection of music nerds, no talent, no experience, no education, no right to have as many opinions as they do."
On this Bawley’s 100th posts are we in a better position to answer such existential questions, looking at the Bawley tag cloud I yes, well Yes and No.

Yes, Bawley are clearly Radiohead fans with 18 posts referencing the band. We also have a love of Nine Inch Nails who come in as the second most popular act (12 posts), followed by The Cure (8), Crystal Castles (7) and Bloc Party (6) who complete Bawley's top five blogged about bands.

Yes, Bawley obviously loves a bargain with 9 posts on free downloads, and one each covering free shows, rip offs and artist greed.

Yes, Bawley has an inflated sense of self-importance referencing itself on 16 occasions including this post.

No, Bawley still can’t really decide who it is or what it wants to talk about covering 230 topics in 100 posts seems a little scatter brained and if anyone can explain how Blatant excuses to publish pictures of Richard Ayoade, Sailing boats, Iceland and not actually about music made it onto this music blog they are doing better than us.

Thanks for reading our first 100, we look forward to you joining us for 100 more.
- The Bawley Team

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Get Funky With Reckoner - It Ripples

Getting a little funky with Reckoner.

Let me know what you think.

More (and better) Reckoner remixes can be found on radioheadremix post links to your favourites?

Björk and Yorke team up to save Iceland.

Björk and Thom Yorke are teaming up to save Iceland, no not from the current economic crisis but from the irreparable damage the Icelandic aluminium smelting industry is having on the country’s stunning environment.

On October 20th, One Little Indian will release the collaboration titled Nattura, the song it is claimed will highlight the growing movement to reclaim the country’s natural resources from big business and pollution.

You can find out more on why Björk is supporting the movement on the Nattura website.

Friday, 10 October 2008


We at Bawley are all big fans of The League Of Gentlemen.

We're therefore delighted that two of The League's creators, Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton, are just about to begin filming a new comedy that they have created for BBC2, entitled Psychoville.

According to The Guardian, the cast will also feature Dawn French, Christopher Biggins, Dame Eileen Atkins and Nicholas Le Prevost, and we are promised that:

"The series will be populated with a cast of off-beat characters including a blind Beanie collector, a dwarf who is in love with his panto Snow White and a one-handed clown who makes balloon animals with his hook. Each of the characters in the series has been sent an anonymous, black-edged card saying: "I know what you did ...'"

Sounds awesome. The series is set to air in the UK next year, and, potentially, in Australia at some point in the future.

As this is supposed to be a music blog, I should also point out that Creme Brulee, who will be familiar to League Of Gentlemen fans, will be performing their hit, 'Voodoo Lady' live at the Soho Curzon Cinema on the 31st of this month. And the weirdest thing is I am not making this up.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Atlas Sound Play Trick or Treat

First a spooky new Atlas Sound track called Coffin Trick promptly followed by a 55 minute DJ set creatively titled October Micromix. Nothing more just a quick spurt of Halloween themed action on the Deerhunter/Atlas Sound front man Bradford Cox’s blog early this morning.

Coffin Trick is all distorted vocals and slinky guitar, while October Micromix is consistent with Cox’s previous DJ mixes - chilled out, diverse and full of his favourite tracks. This time the mix travels from The Beach Boys to Robert Wyatt via The Supremes, Suicide, and Nico.

If you like what you hear, you can find more micromixes along with demos and new tracks for download all over the deerhunter / atlas sound / lotus plaza blog. Plus the brilliant new Deerhunter album Microcastles will be in stores from October 28th. Can’t wait that long? It is available now for download from pretty much everywhere (both legally and leaked).


Friday, 3 October 2008

$0.00: Strange Attractor

This week Mercury Rev have released two brand new albums the magnificent Midnight Snowflake and its instrumental companion Strange Attractor.

As previously mentioned Strange Attractor is being made available as a free download: signup to the bands mailing list for access (here).

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

All Tomorrow's Parties launches in Australia

All Tomorrow's Parties, the cult festival franchise that launched in the UK a few years back and is known for eclectic lineups curated by some of the most interesting musical acts in the world, is coming to Australia in January.

Curated by (who else?) Nick Cave (in my mind one of the greatest artists in the world today), the festival visits three states and takes a different form in each one. Melbourne gets a full blown two day affair with camping at Mt Buller, Brisbane gets a mini afternoon/evening festival at the Riverstage, and a series of concerts, and Sydney gets two one day festivals (each with the same lineup, on consecutive days) on Cockatoo Island, which seems like an awesome place to watch bands.

As the curator, Nick Cave has handed himself and his Bad Seeds, the headline slot, and before him comes a bunch of really interesting and innovative acts, including the excellent Spiritualized, and others, most of which sit a long way outside the mainstream. Full lineups and details here.

It's a bold and exciting festival for Australia, bringing some great bands to brillant settings and offering what is sure to be a totally different experience to that offered by Big Day Out.