27 May 2008

24 Carat Gold

The fish are back again, so it could only really mean one thing. I have finally placed my paws on the debut album by Santogold! As expected it is nothing less than brilliant if a little more eclectic than I had once thought it might have been.

It is obvious why album opener "L.E.S. Artistes" was picked as the lead single. While it isn't the album's best song, it is surely one of the most accessible and shows off Santi "Santogold" White's pop flair. At the same time, "Lights Out" and "I'm A Lady" are also contenders to be the next single with their accessible pop-rock melodies and wonderful vocals.

"Creator", which has been a staple on her MySpace site for a while now, is a much harder, grittier song than any of the three I've mentioned so far. It has hypnotic vocals, with White changing her voice at least three times during the course of the song, tribal beats and a heart-pounding electro rhythm. Here, it is obvious that being friends with M.I.A. has an impact on you. On "You'll Find A Way", White's punk rock roots shine through in a torrent of wailing guitars and angry, relentless vocals. Her days as a member of Stiffed appear to have been worth it.

Meanwhile, there is also a more downbeat side to Santogold that is equally as entrancing. "Anne" is dark and menacing, much like Depeche Mode, while "My Superman" sounds like a track from Siouxsie and the Banshees "Kaleidoscope" album. Both are charming and almost seductive but also dangerous, with White's voice taking a more sinister turn.

On her debut album, Santogold has proved that bringing many different genres of music together can result in a magnificent product, far from the incoherent mess that might be expected of such an adventurous collection of songs.

Tag Mad

Oooh, Tairebabs has tagged me with a memea. Since I'm not a spolisport, I've decided to do it. At least attempt it. So first, the rules:

1. link the person(s) who tagged you… (er, have already done this myself)
2. Mention the rules on your blog
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours...
4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them…
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged..

So here goes:

1.) I put my work on the wall. It helps me remember what I've done/have to do.
2.) I don't mix my food. Don't ask why, most people do but I don't.
3.) I love pepper. Black pepper on everything!
4.) Shopping is a lovely pleasure (behind music of course). Especially for clothes
5.) I could go through a whole bag (we're talking massive) of jelly babies
6.) I listen to my iPod in the dark and oddly enough it's pretty soothing considering some of the stuff I've got on there!

Well, they were some pretty unspectacular quirks weren't they? Anyway, now I've got to nominate 6 people (and hope that someone else hasn't already done the same). So I want to nominate.... Tina, Babooshka, Brett, Junkliberty, Faizal and Astrogalaxy with this! Enjoy!

23 May 2008


Well after slagging off most of the festivals this year, I've decided that I should actually do some decent coverage of them. My real excitement though is that I might be going to the Stockton Festival - okay, you're probably all thinking "big deal" but there's some great people on it this year! In the past I've ever gone because the acts have never been that interesting but this year there's British Sea Power, Clinic, Happy Mondays and Super Furry Animals among others! Not bad, huh?

So then it's decided. This summer I'll be mostly blogging about the acts I see at the major festivals on the TV (which might strike people as being odd, but at least I keep my writing up!) and attempting to get to some gigs, get myself down to Stockton.... should be fun.

What I'm Listening To Right Now - "Young Love" by Mystery Jets

18 May 2008

Away For A Short While

Just to let everyone know that I will probably be disappearing for a little while until after Wednesday (the soonest I can get back).

In the mean time, listen to "Two Doors Down" the new single from Mystery Jets. It has a real 80s pop vibe to it, but not in a bad way at all. The video is also quite funny - it's a total parody of the types of videos they used to have then (check out the funky blazers!).

Be back soon, I promise!

What I'm Listening to Right Now - "That's Not My Name" by The Ting Tings

14 May 2008

The Fish Return

To indicate that I am now totally excited that soon I will be able to splash out (okay, thirty pounds, not much but it is for me since I don't spend that much!) on at least 3 albums soon.

Well, you'll know from previous posts that I'm just completely worked up about the release of the Santogold album and I have to say - to banish any skeptics - that the rest of the album is totally different to her main release, "L.E.S. Artistes". The rest is a wonderful combination of rock and hip-hop (a new genre of Hip-Rock anyone? No?), something that I am particularly eager to listen to in full.

Secondly, and third as well, come The Ting Tings and Cajun Dance Party. I think I will play all three albums to death in the coming weeks (well, as long as I manage to get my paws on them). Suddenly I have been overwhelmed with albums that are actually being released this year. Normally, I collect albums from the past... Maybe this is an indication that some of the music coming out this year is pretty brilliant. Enough to persuade me to buy it!

What I'm Listening To Right Now - "Kinky Afro" by Happy Mondays

13 May 2008

Sickening Instrument

Super Furry Animal Gruff Rhys recently stated that "saxophones are vomit-inducing". And I pretty much agree with him. There's something about the sound that goes straight through me, like a fine drizzle that permeates your clothes irritatingly and hangs around in the air like a bad rash. This analogy might seem weird but using this was the easiest way to say that Gruff is completing right about saxophones being horrible, awful, demonic instruments. I can't even stand it on Kate Bush's "Saxophone Song" (which is a great song. Until the sax solo. Ergh....). I think that's saying something. Regular readers will probably know that I love Kate, but I must drag this song through the mud for the fact that it puts this abominable instrument in front of me proudly and blasts me with notes that make me want to cover my ears.

Well done Gruff, you're completely right!

08 May 2008

Something New From Disney

Presenting the Mickey-Mouse DJs! It appears that more and more DJs are more inclined to chat rather than do their jobs (i.e. spin some decent records - some of the them fail to even do this).

I'm pointing the finger mostly at Chris Moyles, who has implanted a "stupid-chip" into most teenagers in the land thanks to his xenophobic, misogynistic twaddle. I say "twaddle" simply because it can't be described as much else. What he says doesn't have much worth, if any at all. It's mostly either slagging people off or flirting (thankfully unsuccessfully) with his female colleagues. Once subjected to this demonic man, I felt rage and insanity set in as he failed to play one record in forty-five minutes. That's right. Forty-five minutes worth of pointless banter, counteracted by three minutes of some dance-remix tune thing.
Step up to the ring Zane Lowe, a man so confident in his own abilities that he bamboozles his audience with a voice that goes a hundred miles an hour. If we slow Lowe down, we would probably find that he is simply saying "rhubarb" over and over to make it sound like talking (I know this works - I learned it in a drama class once). And then what does he play? Songs that I have either heard a hundred times before, only now labelled as "new" and "cool" by this man or some sort of indie rubbish (of course I love indie, but not what he plays).
Finally, and I hate to say this but a 6 Music DJ has tormented me for so long now that I'm beyond repair. This is George Lamb, a man who has taken over from the reins of Gideon Coe (a competent DJ) and replaced his respectable show with an onslaught of shabbas and maniacal warblings. Ok, the music is halfway decent (it's 6 Music, what do you expect?) but he is making a mockery of the good DJs on the station - the damage is irreversible! Funny, I read an article in the Guardian once about new presenters and he featured on it. There was a question saying "Despite all these useless qualities are they probably alright really?" The answer, fittingly, was no.
So here's my mockup for an advert for a new DJ:
DJ wanted, must be both xenophobic, misoginistic and above 14 stones in weight. Must also have a New Zealand accent and speak at a terrific rate (over 124mph preferred). A knowledge of how to say "shabba" and have fairly decent idea of bands who will probably get nowhere but might be good for a laugh. Long-haired and straw hats recommended.
Ahem.... I'm out of the question...
What I'm Listening to Right Now - "Time to Pretend" by MGMT
Please excuse the very small font on this post - I don't know what's happened, but I can't sort it out and it's very annoying. Sorry!

07 May 2008

Right. For Once

Well, Liam Gallagher has come out and said that Jay-Z is a really bad choice for Glastonbury. In response, Emily Eavis came out with something indecipherable about having great moments and mixing the whole thing up (to be honest, I didn't have a clue what she was on about - she didn't even mention either of them).

I think it is amazing that I actually agree with something that Gallagher says. Normally he talks about how great he is or that Oasis are still a dominant force in music (no offence to anyone who might like them, but their last few singles have been pretty rubbish really). But here he's actually said something worthwhile. Jay-Z will be a downer on the festival, it doesn't matter who he has joining him to play. I don't think we want the whole thing packed out with little teenagers who haven't even heard of half the bands who play there. Radio 1's Big Weekend is made for that.

Kudos to you, Mr. Gallagher. Savour the moment as I might never praise you again.

What I'm Listening to Right Now - "L.E.S. Artistes" by Santogold

06 May 2008

Ting Ting Boom

In two weeks The Ting Tings are releasing their debut album entitled "We Started Nothing". They're re-releasing their first single "That's Not My Name" one week before as well. As a pop duo, they're great. Spunky and quirky enough to avoid becoming sugary sweet but light-hearted enough not to fade into obscurity. Of all the songs they've released, "Great DJ" is undoubtedly the best, with its pounding drums and electronic melody line. Katie White's voice sounds the best on this song as well.

I've just realised that I'm going to have one heck of a long list of CDs to buy in the next month or so. Oh well, it couldn't hurt!

What I'm Listening to Right Now - "Fancy Footwork" by Chromeo

Some Very Quick News

The Cure are going to release a single on the 13th of every month from now on up until the release of their as-yet-untitled new album, due for release in September. It will be their first new album in 3 years. Can't wait to hear what the new material sounds like.

Oh and this is my 50th post on JJS. Hooray, I've reached a landmark!

What I'm Listening to Right Now - "Gold Lion" by Yeah Yeah Yeahs

04 May 2008

Golden Sheen

A mention here for M.I.A's mate Santogold (real name Santi White) who is due to release her debut album in a month's time. I actually can't wait for this release - she may not be as gritty as her Sri-Lankan-via-London colleague but White is fun, danceable and still more experimental than other artists of her kind right now.

While the popular single "L.E.S. Artistes" may not show this so much - although this is a good, solid pop-meets-R'n'B-and-dance tune - "Creator", her first single, certainly does. To compare her once again to M.I.A., it's like "20 Dollar" meets "Bucky Done Gun" with less political commentary. So more of an easy listen, but Santogold still creates a great tune. Maybe I should describe it as good noise. But definitely not in the ever so slightly unbearable way that someone like Crystal Castles might make it....

What I'm Listening to Right Now - "Rebel in You" by Supergrass


How glad I was to see Operator Please on Later... the other night. They are a well put-together Australian band with some really good songs. Personally I don't rate "Just a Song About Ping-Pong" and think that it's a little annoying. Their other singles have been of a much better quality and embrace all the styles of the five band members. Frontwoman Amandah's voice sounds best on "Leave It Alone" (which is my favourite of the singles they have released) and "Get What You Want", which shows her taking a more aggressive stance.

I think that you could tell that "Just a Song..." was one of the first songs they probably wrote. It's much more naive and doesn't have the depth that their other singles do.

Nevertheless, they're a good band and I'm looking forward to hearing more from them. I think they should probably build on the fact that they have a violinist in the band while still trying to maintain a gritty edge.

Dance Dance

Cajun Dance Party have finally released their debut album "The Trick To Life" and I'm looking forward to purchasing it soon. I've been singing their praises for a long while now, ever since I first heard the dynamic yet tender "Amylase" and new single "The Race" is the icing on the cake. They are slightly naive with their lyrics but this is only natural since they're only about 16 or 17. But, their music has some elements of Arcade Fire and an energetic feel that is simply captivating. I've been looking forward to this debut for a long time now and was disappointed when it was put back. Luckily for me, their second album is due out at the end of the year.

01 May 2008

Maybe-Not-So-Time-Wasting Question Of The Day

Ahem, at first this is going to sound like a dumb question but bear with me: who is the more smug musician? Sam Sparro or Mark Ronson?

Yes, this is what's it has come to. My point in this question is that there seems to be a multitude of very proud and conceited young men emerging into the world of music, including Sparro and Ronson.

First of all, let's start with "super-producer" Ronson. When he waddled on to the scene poking a horrific cover of The Smiths' "Stop Me.." into everyone's faces, he was heralded as the next big thing and at first it seemed like he would fade after a little while - after all, a lot of these DJs/Producers who make these remix/cover versions in the dance style generally have one hit and then disappear off the face of the planet. But then he re-emerged brandishing a cover of "Oh My God" by Kaiser Chiefs fronted by (gulp) Lily Allen. If that wasn't bad enough, he decided to have a go at "Valerie" by the Zutons and stick Amy Winehouse into the frame. Suddenly he was a god, and had made "one of the best records of recent times". Er, no! I think that if he had written this song as an original piece and came out of nowhere then maybe that would be more cause for praise. But he just took the whole ethos of the song and stuck a few trumpets on it. All of a sudden he's created a masterpiece, the Mona Lisa of the music world. Now he goes around looking incredibly smug in his designer suits and floppy-fringed haircuts, bragging about who he used to hang around with as a kid and basically talking as if he's god's gift to the world.

Sparro is no different. Apart from the fact that he's given himself a ridiculous name (seriously, where did he get that one from?), he's gone and made a self-indulgent dance single that ponders the existence of god ("Black and Gold" - truly annoying after you've heard it a billion times). Yes, that's right. I actually think that he likes the sound of his own voice. There is something in the way that he sings that actually suggests that he is completely in love with himself. I can imagine himself pulling smug little faces and trying to look incredibly attractive when singing. Then there's some of the promotional photos. He pouts and looks at the camera in a way that says "I know I'm gorgeous and wonderfully talented. You should think so too."

I think it'll be great when we get some new young men into the business that don't have this kind of attitude. Everything is suddenly about image and it takes away from the music - perhaps a more down-to-earth man would write songs that are not reflections of an egotistical personality.

Appreciated Meme

Well, I got this ages ago from the lovely Babooshka and have finally come around to completing it. So for all the people I nominate to complete their own, here's the rules:

1.)Write your own six word memoir.
2.)Post it on your blog; include a visual illustration if you'd like.
3.)Link to the person that tagged you in your post, and to the original post if possible.
4.)Tag at least five more blogs with links.
5.)Leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!

So here's mine:

Musically Obsessed Woman Still Buys CDs

How uncool am I? Still buying CDs when everyone's pratically going on and on about how that industry is nigh-on dead! Oh well. Here's my nominations (you know who you are!):

1.) Tina
2.) Brett
3.) Nic
4.) Sugarbelly
5.) Coolgirlsar

Okay, I look forward to seeing your six-word memoirs!