Wednesday, 31 December 2008

The Bawley100 - New Years Eve 2008/2009

The Bawley crew have brushed distance, time difference, and conflicting opinions aside to bring you the 2008 Bawley 100.

With NYE listening parties happening simultaneously in an Aussie Pie Shop, under Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate and at the Sydney Harbour Fireworks, the 2008 Bawley 100 is a three pointed axis of Awesome!

The 2008 Bawley 100:

100 Flight Of The Conchords - Inner City Pressure

99 Dukes Of Windsor - It's A War

98 Kings Of Leon - Sex On Fire

97 Cut Copy - Strangers In The Wind

96 Stars - A Thread Cut With A Carving Knife

95 Ashes Divide - The Stone

94 Björk - Náttúra

93 Does It Offend You, Yeah? - Dawn Of The Dead

92 Lily Allen - Fear

91 The Kills - Cheap And Cheerful

90 Faker - Are You Magnetic

89 The Ting Tings - That's Not My Name

88 Lightspeed Champion - Everyone I Know Is Listening To Crunk

87 Gnarls Barkley - Run (I'm A Natural Disaster)

86 Sigur Rós - Gobbledigook

85 Goldfrapp - Caravan Girl

84 TZU - Computer Love

83 Neon Neon - I Told Her On Alderaan

82 Michael Cera & Ellen Page - Anyone Else But You

81 Futureheads - Broke Up The Time

80 Kanye West - Love Lockdown

79 Cut Off You Hands - Expectations

78 Birds Of Tokyo - Silhouettic

77 The Killers - Human

76 Alexis Taylor - Coming Up

75 Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds - We Call Upon The Author

74 Stereolab - Three Women

73 CSS - Rat Is Dead (Rage)

72 Lyrics Born - I Like It, I Love It

71 Santogold - L.E.S. Artists

70 Friendly Fires - Paris

69 The Gutter Twins - Idle Hands

68 Bloc Party - Talons

67 The Cure - The Only One

66 Yeasayer - Wait For The Summer

65 MGMT - Electric Feel

64 The Grates - Two Kinds Of Right

63 Portishead - Hunter

62 The Dodos - Ashley

61 Nine Inch Nails - Echoplex

60 Beck - Youthless

59 Elbow - Grounds For Divorce

58 Hot Chip - Wrestlers

57 Glasvegas - Daddy's Gone

56 Beck - Modern Guilt

55 British Sea Power - No Lucifer

54 The Cure - The Perfect Boy

53 Radiohead - The Rip

52 The National - Fake Empire

51 Vampire Weekend - Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa

50 MGMT - The Youth

49 Wire - One Of Us

48 Gnarls Barkley - Who's Gonna Save My Soul

47 The Last Shadow Puppets - The Age Of The Understatement

46 Fleet Foxes - Your Protector

45 The National - About Today (Live)

44 Deerhunter - Microcastle

43 Empire Of The Sun - We Are The People

42 Bloc Party - Ares

41 Sparkadia - Kiss Of Death

40 MGMT - Kids

39 My Morning Jacket - Touch Me I'm Going To Scream Pt 2

38 Sparkadia - This Boy's In Love

37 Deerhunter - Nothing Ever Happened

36 Cut Copy - Lights & Music

35 TV On The Radio - Dancing Choose

34 Crystal Castles - Courtship Dating

33 Nine Inch Nails - 1,000,000

32 The Dirty Secrets - Five Feet Of Snow

31 Lambchop - National Talk Like A Pirate Day

30 Half Man Half Biscuit - National Shite Day

29 Architecture In Helsinki - That Beep

28 Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds - Lie Down Here (And Be My Girl)

27 Vampire Weekend - A Punk

26 Mercury Rev - Senses On Fire

25 Ladyhawke - My Delirium

24 Death Cab For Cutie - I Will Possess Your Heart

23 Beck - Chemtrails

22 The Dodos - Paint The Rust

21 The Presets - Talk Like That

20 Portishead - Machine Gun

19 TV On The Radio - Halfway Home

18 Bon Iver - Skinny Love

17 Crystal Castles - Crimewave

16 Empire Of The Sun - Walking On A Dream

15 Fleet Foxes - White Winter Hymnal

14 PNAU (feat. Ladyhawke) - Embrace

13 The Rapture - No Sex For Ben

12 Lambchop - Slipped Dissolved And Loosed

11 The Cure - Underneath The Stars

10 Bloc Party - One Month Off

9 Hot Chip - One Pure Thought

8 British Sea Power - Waving Flags

7 Sparkadia - Jealousy

6 Ladyhawke - Paris Is Burning

5 Band Of Horses - No One's Gonna Love You

4 TV On The Radio - Golden Age

3 Elbow - One Day Like This

2 The Presets - This Boy's In Love

1 MGMT - Time To Pretend

That is our list, the CD is in the mail.

What did we miss, what have we overrated, your comments...

Monday, 22 December 2008

Bawley (Hearts) 2008: Bottom 5 album covers of the year

5. Santogold - Santogold

Santi White’s debut album may have blurred the lines between genres, unfortunately the cover art blurred the lines of good taste. Burp...

4. Razorlight – Slipway Fires

Who are the three guys hogging Johnny Borrell’s lime light

3. The Presets - Apocalypso

The album’s title came from the idea of the apocalypse and a calypso together. I think the art work came from a primary school diorama competition.

2. Empire of the sun – Walking On A Dream

Star Wars fans, much?

1. Lambchop – (Oh) Ohio

If a picture is worth a thousand words, I wish Lambchop had the decency to stop writing after the first paragraph.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Bawley (Hearts) 2008: Bawley crew concerts of the year: Nick

5. Malcolm Middleton, Hopetoun Hotel, Sydney, March

It was almost uncomfortable but utterly engrossing to watch Malcolm Middleton, with only an acoustic guitar for company, singing some incredibly bleak and personal songs in this tiny, intimate venue. Gigs don't get much more raw than this.

4. Goldfrapp, Opera House, Sydney, October

The opposite extreme: Goldfrapp, with full band and fourteen piece string section, making an awesome noise under the world's most famous roof. (FasterLouder Review)

3. The National, City Recital Hall, Sydney, January

It takes a very special band to mesmerise a crowd in a soulless, library-like venue like the City Recital Hall. The National are a very special band. 'About Today' was epic.

2. Sufjan Stevens, State Theatre, Sydney, January

Brass, woodwind, a pitch-perfect voice and an encore that included hula-hooping. Magnificent.

1. Bloc Party, Hordern Pavillion, Sydney, November

They came, they saw, they conquered. A perfect set, a super-tight performance and a spectacular light show helped Bloc Party tear the Hordern Pavilion to pieces.

Runners Up:

MGMT, Birmingham Academy, Eels, Enmore Theatre, Band Of Horses, Metro Theatre

Bawley (Hearts) 2008: Bawley crew albums of the year: Nick

5. MGMT 'Oracular Spectacular'

The latest in a long line of masterpieces bearing the signature of super-producer Dave Fridman (Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev, Delgados, Mogwai...). This album was everywhere in 2008: In every shop, every radio and TV station – but deserved to be.

4. British Sea Power 'Do You Like Rock Music?'

'Waving Flags' was the year's best pro-immigration song, 'No Lucifer' borrowed a slogan from notorious British wrestler Big Daddy and 'Canvey Island' drew a complex analogy between a bird flu virus and a devastating flood. Really, what more do you need from a rock record?

3. Lambchop '(OH) Ohio'

Approximately the 10th (depending on how you count) album from The Best Band In The World That Nobody Has Heard Of. Not a radical departure, more an amalgamation of all the styles the band has toyed with over the last two decades. Wonderful, as ever.

2. TV On The Radio
'Dear Science'

Sharp, funny, angular, joyous, intense. Very, very nearly album of the year....

1. Elbow 'Seldom Seen Kid'

...But in the end it was the songs that won it for Elbow. Guy Garvey writes lyrics that you could write essays about, without a single word out of place, and they work brilliantly. Heartbreaking, life affirming, devastatingly beautiful and utterly essential.

Runners Up:

Bloc Party, 'Intimacy'; Delirious?, 'Kingdom Of Comfort'; Vampire Weekend, 'Vampire Weekend'; Dodos, 'Visiter'; My Morning Jacket, 'Evil Urges'; Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, 'Dig Lazarus Dig!!!', Half Man Half Biscuit; 'CSI Ambleside'

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Bawley (Hearts) 2008: Top 5 Covers of the year

5. Jay-Z – Wonderwall (Oasis)
'For those that didn't get the memo, my name is Jay-Z and I'm pretty f***ing awesome.'
Well maybe, maybe not, either way there is no denying that the rappers response to the “No Hip-Hop at Glasto” press was right on the mark. (link)

4. Mobius Band – Digital Love (Daft Punk)

Taken from Mobius Band’s EP of Valentine’s Day themed covers, this largely acoustic version of the track could prove that Daft Punk are Human After All. (link)

3. Radiohead – The Rip (Portishead)

Who other than Radiohead could pull of covering this sweet but morbid Portishead track? (link)

2. Hot Chip and Peter Gabriel – Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa (Vampire Weekend)

The only thing that feels more un-natural than Peter Gabriel is Peter Gabriel singing “It feels so unnatural. Peter Gabriel, too” (link)

1. Sparkadia – This Boy’s In Love (The Presets)

We love Sparkadia’s lush take on The Presets smash. It seems you love it too, our post linking to the mp3 was Bawley’s most read article in 2008. (link)

Friday, 19 December 2008

Bawley (Hearts) 2008: Top 5 Concerts of the year: Hummer

I don’t quite have the ego to tell you what were the Top 5 concerts of 2008, but I can list the 5 gigs I enjoyed most.

5. MGMT, Carling Academy, Birmingham, 10/11/2008

MGMT successfully blend massive singles like Time To Pretend, Electric Feel, and Kids in to a set of spaced out psychedelic rock providing a mind altering experience you can sing along to. (review)

4. TV On The Radio, Academy 2, Birmingham, 7/12/2008

This show would make my Top 5 for the encore alone, Family Tree, A Method, Let The Devil In and Staring at the Sun: does it get any better? (review)

3. LCD Soundsystem, Enmore Theatre, Sydney, 26/01/2008

Touring on the back of the brilliant Sound of Silver, LCD Soundsystem (with an Arcade Fire cameo) deliver a brilliant set of intelligent dance and post punk music.

2. Hot Chip, Carling Academy, Birmingham, 29/10/2008

From Max Tundra’s bizzaro support slot, to the indie disco of Over and Over and the emotional sing-along closer, this show was the most fun I had inside all year. (review)

1. Glastonbury, Worthy Farm, Somerset, 26-29/06/2008

Glastonbury + Sunshine = My number one concert of the year. (review)

Rockin' research shows head-banging batters brains

After attending several heavy metal concerts of bands including Mötley Crüe, Ozzy Osbourne and Motörhead, Associate Professor Andrew McIntosh felt that headbanging might be causing concert-goers mild brain injury leading to headaches and dizziness.
“If you observe people after concerts they clearly look dazed, confused and incoherent, so something must be going on, and we wanted to look into it."
Full story - here.

Coming soon: Research suggests that heavy metal bands misuse umlauts.


Check in over the next few weeks as the Bawley crew post their Top 5s for 2008.

{albums, concerts, album art, predictions for 2009, covers, videos, rumours ...}

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Ho Ho Ho - Yeah Yeah Yeah

What is on your Christmas want list this year? If you said a new Yeah Yeah Yeahs song you are in luck.

All I Want For Christmas is the Yeah Yeah Yeahs take on the sleigh bell filled Christmas single.

Go to the bands myspace to listen

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Live Review: TV On The Radio, Academy 2, 07/12/2008

Back in September I declared TV on the Radio’s Dear Science my album of the year. After tonight’s show they may well be my live act of the year.

Tonight at Birmingham’s Academy, the bands are playing on the smaller Academy 2 stage. First up, London band Big Pink whose fuzzed out pop songs get a subdued but positive reaction from the crowd.

TVOTR’s decision to start their show with a few older tracks alienates some of the audience, but as soon as the drums of Wolf Like Me kick in everyone loses their shit and the band is instantly forgiven.

Golden Age and Dancing Choose keep everyone dancing, no one more than front man Tunde Adebimpe who has sweat pouring off his face.

On the Dear Science album DLZ is effortlessly cool, but tonight’s version is fierce: the lock step beat drags you in while guitars bring up a wall of noise and Adebimpe literally spits and sprays rage-filled lyrics.

The bearded Kyp Malone is everything Adebimpe is not. He barely moves, barely blinks, barely has a care in the world but on Province, when Malone’s falsetto vocal joins Ademipe’s midrange rhyme, you can’t imagine them ever being apart.

The five piece band and all their paraphernalia barely fit on the smaller Academy 2 stage meaning it is only when they leave the stage that the audience get a look at the mop-topped drummer Jaleel Bunton and bass player Gerard Smith.

Obviously the crowd want to see more, and the screams of encore are answered when the band return to play Family Tree. There is a short pause as the drum kit is dismantled, its parts distributed around the band’s five members who strike cymbals, crash drums and hit rhythm sticks right through A Method before going straight into Let The Devil In and closing out with the brilliant Staring At The Sun.

Family Tree:

Thursday, 11 December 2008

"You'll never guess who I had in the back of my cab last week"

From an innovation in gig review journalism (and a rubbish venue)to an innovation in live music recordings (and a weird venue)....

The Black Cab Sessions is a great idea: take one interesting musician (or two) and film them performing a song accoustically in the back of a cab as it travels around London.

As they say: "The sessions are all about great music and the venue strips this to its essence."

There are 68 sessions so far and the number is growing quickly. Among them are Bawley faves My Morning Jacket, The National, Fleet Foxes, The Futureheads (actually visible), Johnny Flynn, Death Cab For Cutie (of course) and (drumroll...) Lambchop. Their song choices often veer from the obvious 'hits', too - The National tackle a B-Side, Lambchop take on Bob Dylan, and also well worth checking out is Amanda Palmer's take on Radiohead's 'Creep'.

Live Review: The Futureheads, D Bar, 9/12/2008

Spot the band:

And an easier side of stage shot:

I think I can see a head.

First correct answer wins a instant scratchies gift pack.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Blur: are back

I grew up with Blur. They are one of the bands that got me into music, and soundtracked my teenage years and beyond. It's one of my great musical regrets that I've never seen them live.

Great news then, that they're back. So far, just for a big gig in London's Hyde Park, but a headline slot at next year's Glastonbury is all but a certainty.

Surely, though, they'll be many more gigs to come.

Big Day Out organisers: You know what you have to do.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Are we Human or are we Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Blitzen...?

The Killers are obviously fans of the Christmas single having recorded A Great Big Sled in 2006 and Don’t Shoot Me Santa in 2007.

This festive season the band have teamed up with Elton John and Pet Shop Boys’ Neil Tennant for Joesph, Better You Than Me.

The Countdown to Christmas Continues.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

The Countdown To Christmas starts here....

Everybody loves a dodgy Christmas single, don't they? Eddie Argos from the marvellous Art Brut certainly does. Last year, he and his band teamed up with Black Box Recorder to form The Black Arts They released 'Christmas Number One' which, of course, failed to get anwhere near number one in last year's Christmas chart. Also failing in his attempt to reach number one last Christmas was renowned miserablist and former Arab Strab member Malcolm Middleton, whose brilliantly unfestive We're All Going To Die barely charted at all (despite it being ace).

This year, Eddie Argos has teamed up with Mikey Georgeson (David Devant) to form a glam rock band called Glam Chops. They've recorded a couple of Christmas songs, 'Countdown To Christmas' and 'Baby Jesus Was The First Glam Rocker'. Neither of them are that good, but they're available to download for free, and they might just put you in the Christmas mood.

Art Brut, incidentally, are working on their third album, the follow up to last year's very enjoyable 'It's A Bit Complicated', which is being produced by none other than Frank Black. Amongst the 20 songs being worked on are 'Alcoholics Unanimous', 'Summer Job', 'Art Brut Versus Satan', 'Rebellious' 'Henchman', and 'Moved To LA'. Should be good.

Monday, 1 December 2008 is Fab! is a Dutch company that aims to give recognition to artists that are largely unrecognised by the mainstream media. Their main outlet is the Fabchannel website that streams live and on-demand of concerts for free.

Why should you care? Well, Bawley-approved artists such as Wire, MGMT, Midnight Juggernauts, Digitalism, A Place to Bury Strangers, CSS, Of Montreal, The Presets, Spank Rock, Iron and Wine, Xavier Rudd, Patrick Wolf, Bonde Do Role, Elbow, Bloc Party, The Arcade Fire, and Okkervil River all have full sets on the site.

An endless list of indie bands is all well and good, but the real treasure in the closet is footage from the 2003 to 2005 Dutch air-guitar championship finals. Gems in three years of air-footage are the 2003 battle between The Scarecrow and Funky Jordie for the best air-version of Michael Jackson’s Beat It; Barbie Rock, a semi-hot blonde chick air-riffing on a metalled up version of the Grease Mega Mix in 2004; and the progression of The Devastator from middle-aged man with long hair, black jeans and black t-shirt in 2003, to slightly more middle-aged man with longer hair, black jeans and a sports bra air-rocking out to the Foo Fighters Low in 2005.

Each year’s air-guitar concert is closed by B.O.G. Holland’s best poodle rock tribute band: Van Halen (Jump), Bon Jovi (Livin On A Prayer), Europe (The Final Countdown), Guns n’ Roses (November Rain), ... they have it all.

It is no wonder the Dutch smoke so much.

Live Review: A Place To Bury Strangers, Barfly, 29/11/2008

On an arctic night we walk into the Birmingham Barfly and quickly find that checking our jackets in the cloak room was a mistake. The concrete and metal downstairs bar is only slightly warmer than outside - a cool environment for one of the coolest bands around?

Canadian support act Ten Kens work hard for very little reward, before A Place To Bury Strangers arrive on the stage and kick off with Gimme Acid, the small crowd now pushed up against the front of the stage calmly nodding along to the howling guitar and pounding drums.

Fix The Gash In Your Head is just as menacing live as it is on record and the audience responds with pockets of the crowd jumping and dancing around the room. Between songs, one brave punter cries out for the band to play louder, APTBS answer the request with a swirl of feedback, screech of guitars and Don’t Think Lover turned up to 11.

APTBS are obviously influenced by My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus Mary Chain, and like these bands they are more than just noise merchants. Underneath the wall of sound there are lush pop songs, as evident on I Know I’ll See You which has the crowd singing and dancing along with glee.

By now the room has filled with smoke, guitarist Oliver Ackermann is lying on the ground tearing at his effects pedals and the sound, combined with the constant strobe effect, is oppressive. The noise morphs into Ocean, again the vocals are delivered low in the mix as the guitars scream louder and louder. The song and set ends with the band throwing themselves and their instruments around the stage.

New York's loudest band brought a little bit of noise to the Midlands tonight - my ears hurt but I would love to hear a little more.