Archive for August, 2007

First trailer of Dylan’s biopic

Had to happen. Finally, the biography of popular culture icon Bob Dylan is going to be given the Hollywood treatment. The film titled “I’m not there” counts with a touch of indie pedigree courtesy of former herald of new queer cinema Todd Haynes, whose career has moved progressively into the mainstream, without losing his creative arty spirit in the process.

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Field Day Festival: Portrait Gallery

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It was a great day of music. The Field Festival celebrated his first edition, conveniently located at Victoria Park in London; held during a single day from 12:00 to 10:30 pm and with an amazing, quality selection of independent artists. Four stages curated by four of the city’s most challenging club and gig promoters: The “Eat Your Own Ears” main stage for the better known names; the smallest, open air “Homefires”, surrounded by bales of hay for “ambiance”, focused on new folky artists; The “Adventures in the beetroot field” circus-like tent dedicated to the up and coming acts and “Bugged Out” for the cream of the dance world from Erol Alkan to Andrew Weatherall.
A scorching sun helped to lift the spirits, even when we needed to face endless queues for the rather insufficient food and drink facilities. Only black point in an excellent event that we hope will establish itself as a yearly date with the most cutting-edge side of popular music.
Music wise, the bill was so packed with Rober favourites that many sacrifices had to be made: We resorted to painfully give a miss to Liars –who were schedule to play just before Justice but came onstage an hour late-; Bat For Lashes; Four Tet; The Aliens and Vetiver gigs, whereas we were able to catch only a couple of songs from Gruff Rhys, Euros Child, The Concretes and Matthew Dear, whose sets overlapped other artists’.

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However, what we choose to watch left us with a great taste in our mouths. Here’s our Festival’s photo gallery: All The artists, the images, the glory after the jump!!
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Dan Deacon & Gang Gang Gang dance divide the audience@Cargo

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It initially looked as one of the coolest gigs of the summer. Upset the rythm brought two of the moment’s hippest US artist, famous for their experimental approach to music, together in a gig at Shoreditch’s trendy place Cargo. Every blog reading, cool hunting, new music loving Londoner was there..but it didn’t quite cause the impression everybody expected.

Dan Deacon half comedy/half gig show could have been a huge success, but it was the fact that he plays at ground level, instead of using the stage, what made it flawed. The proximity with the fans was only enjoy by the dozen of people surrounding him. The visibility of the place was very limited, so apart from a couple of moments in which he open a corridor and walk backwards and forwards through the audience, people felt that they could as well be listening to his excellent “Spiderman of the rings” record instead. However, once we managed to get up stage and watch the intimate show from there, we did get to enjoy it…Deacon’s crazy antics made the audience open a circle and got people getting into it dancing to his cartoon keyboard tracks. Just the amount of fun and weirdness we were hoping for.

Unfortunately, the headliners turned up to be a terrible disappointment. Gang Gang Dance came hailed as the most avant-garde band in New York, but the show failed to offer anything visual or multi-disciplinary; their music was no better than very simple loops repeated to exhaustion and their lead singer suffered from wouldbe Kate Bush syndrome. The word hippies was used more than once by the public during their painfully boring show. If this is the cutting-edge, bring on the Mainstream.

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The madness of Prince Billy.

Must be his increased flirting with the celluloid world -he recently starred in the critically aclaimed indie flick “Old Joy”-, but Rober awards multiple winner Will Oldham, former explorer of the darkest corners of the human soul under ever changing monikers from Palace to the latest Bonnie “Prince” Billy seems to be lightening up:

First, he has covered “Can’t take that away”, originally by Mariah Carey -shock, shock, horror, horror-, for a project called “Guilt By Association” in which a bunch of credible artists recorded a cover of their guilty pleasure. In the tracklist you can also find Devendra Banhart doing Oasis’ “Don’t look back in anger”; Luna taking on Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up”; The Concretes going all boyband with Take That’s “Back For Good”; Jim O’Rourke going al girlband with Spice Girls’ “Viva Forever” and the queen of covers herself, Petra Haden, applying her trademark acappella imprint to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”, recently brought back to life as the soundtrack for The Soprano’s grand finale.

A video competition was launched to make the clips for the album and, apart from Bonnie “Prince” Billy’s one, you can see a selection of the entries here.

And if recreating the sounds of Mimi wasn’t mad enough, Will Oldham carried on surprising the world. How? Find out after the jump.
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Listen to M.I.A. “Kala” In Full

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You have been knocked out by the “punch in your face”, epilepsy inducing style of her artworks and promotions; you have listened to the singles -that impossibly catchy “Boyz”-; seen the videos with the latest, “Jimmy” being an immersion in Bollywood kitch from the Eighties; and been overexposed to M.I.A.’s hype machine for the last four months. Now the moment of truth has arrived and a week before its released you can listen to M.I.A.’s second effort in full via her myspace page.

Listen to Kala.

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Sinphonola: Queens of Summer

Finally enjoying the late arrival of the heat, this year it brings an unusual number of female artists from all styles and backgrounds, ready to claim their Summer queen crowd.

THE GLOBAL QUEEN.

London based, revolutionary Sri Lankan rapper M.I.A. Arulpragasam’s second album “Kala” will hit the shops on August the 20th and for those who were complaining about it lacking of a song with the potential of “Galang” or “Bucky Done Gun”, here’s what will shut them up: M.I.A. goes all disco kitch with “Jimmy”, a very faithful reinterpretation taken from the soundtrack of Bollywood 80’s movie “Disco Dancer”, blends old and new in an irresistibly colourful sonic cocktail.

Runners up: Gloria Estefan, the Latin megastar is back with a Spanish speaking album, “90 Millas”, and the whole Latino star-system helping. Although most of her English career flirts with the dull and the formulaic and could be included in the Rober Academy’s black books; whenever she’s back to her roots, her artistic calibre gets proven, “Mi Tierra” being the best example. Santana, José Feliciano and Sheila E, among others, feature in her new single “No Llores”. Somewhere else, in the Caribbean, Che’nelle helped by dancehall’s latest star Cham, throws the best soca-party of the summer with “I Fell in Love with the DJ”.

Watch Gloria Estefan video “No Llores” here.
Watch Che’nelle’s “I fell in love with the DJ”.

More Queens after the jump.
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PJ Harvey new single’s first listening

PJ at Summercase festival, Madrid.

BBC 6 previewed the first song from “White Chalk” yesterday. The track highlights PJ Harvey’s new acoustic direction, which is granting her comparisons with Tori Amos in the States.

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Of Montreal brings the Scala down


Oops!! the camera fell 90 degrees.

After a decade together, Athens; Georgia psychedelic indie popsters Of Montreal (No, they are not Canadians) are having the sweetest time of their career. Last night, they brought their live magic to London, playing at the Scala where they gave a hugely entertaining and thrilling show. Their colourful and theatrical mis-en-scene, psychedelic visuals and Bowie meets disco punk sounds (at its most contagious it could have been described as a light-years-better version of Scissor Sisters) made an ecstatic audience get their first summer sweat by dancing non stop.

“Hissing Fauna, are you the destroyer?” is according to many Of Montreal most accomplished album to date. Kevin Barnes sublimated his depression, following a year of dramatic personal developments, through a strong collection of tunes. Hard times were so inspiring that some of the left out songs have recently been compiled in an equally excellent new EP “Icons, Abstract Thee”.

Watch new video “Suffer For Fashion” here.
Watch the video for “Heimdalsgate like a Promethean curse” here.

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Low@Daytrotter sessions

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Rober Awards multiple winners’ Low were the subject of the latest Daytrotter Session. Right before the beginning of their North American tour supporting Wilco, Mimi, Alan and latest addition to the trio, bassist Matt Livingstone, recorded four tracks from their recent album of the year contender “Drums and Guns” for the no-less excellent website. Stripped-down renditions of “Breaker”; “Violent Past”; “In Silence” and “Sandinista” reach new levels of aural beauty to mindblowing effect. They are also free to download. Truly recommended.

Listen to Low’s Daytrotter Session here.

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