Archive for the ‘MUSIC’ Category

I’m so XXcited

This weekend The XX take their Night + Day mini-fest project to Hatfield House in Hertfordshire. I would be going if I hadn’t done my history coursework on HH (meaning I can never go there again) and already been to the Berlin edition last month – a damp and dreamy evening in an abandoned theme park that was pretty much as XX as it gets. I love them because:

1. Frontwoman Romy is the least attention-seeking, most modest muso girl ever. I’d like to give her my favourite 2012 book ‘QUIET: The Power of Introverts’ or at the very least recommend it highly to her.

2. At Night + Day Berlin Jessie Ware joined them on stage for a very silly, very entertaining mix of ‘Music Sounds Better with You/Lady’ which everyone tried to sing along to:

3. They might appear to just be wearing any old black clothes, but are actually deeply into their ‘look’. I rode past Romy and Oliver walking down Shepherdess Walk last year and blushed as soon as I realised that I was wearing one of my ‘XX’ outfits and hoped they didn’t notice. That’s how specific it is.

4. Jamie XX – who does his own amazing remixing and DJing things on the side – has beaten-up the band’s whole back catalogue to make the songs festival-worthy for these gigs. I’m hoping for a live album please.

5. They have excellent taste as showcased on the line-ups of their Night+Day parties: Chromatics, Jessie Ware, Solange, Dixon, James Murphy, Kim Ann Foxman… the sum of listening without prejudice to pop, hip hop, bass, indie, electronica forever.

 


The return of the Pamflet icons: peaches the musical et la nouvelle LP de miss kittin

I hung out with my favourite two bad-taste broads from the early 2000s last week: PEACHES at the Sundance Film Festival and MISS KITTIN launching her new album at XOYO. This was not a nostalgia-fest: what I love about them both is that while the electro-pop music they helped to invent over a decade ago is now the mainstream, they’ve kept it so so fresh, interesting, seedy, euro-cool and independent. They don’t make popstars like this anymore unfortunately…

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TryHardTrends: WINTER SPECIAL

EVERYWHERE’S NU MUSIC POLICY: no taste tracklistings

Katie? Where are we? And what year is this?’

Remember that night in the student union when we heard them play Wheatus’ ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ followed by ‘Build Me Up Buttercup’ and were confused? That was called ‘cheese’ – it goes with £1 shots of Aftershock and the bitter taste of unidentified, crying-in-the-loos identity-crisis. You experienced it for 15 minutes before realising that The End was ten minutes’ walk away and you probably should go there instead. Well cheese is back. In Lower Dalston, in The West End, in Harrow, wherever there are pierced-up ears to hear it. NOW. Who cares if every song ever is available to play off Spotify and Youtube or that this year has brought us Grimes’ Visions and Duke Dumont’s ‘The Giver’ and more Bat For Lashes or the film about my favourite band of the 2000s which explains why everyone looks the way they do no matter what music they’re listening to these days. Sound good? Slam on 101 party hitz and dance the night away – it’s Christmas, right?

*There’s a difference between bad taste and no taste.

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Review: Purity Ring at the Scala

All the new music I like these days is the same: electronic, dreamy, gothy, girlie, CANADIAN. Purity Ring, comprising producer Corin Roddick and singer Megan James, are all of these things. This hot young duo have more than a little sprinkling of the magical and make dainty beats and super-stylised echo-pop for anyone who can’t get enough of GRIMES (they’re actually both on the same record label, 4AD).

On stage at the Scala this week, surrounded by cocoon-like, chameleon-coloured lanterns synchronised with the music, they played a short set (they only seem to have the 11 songs that are on debut album Shrines) with Megan shyly drifting around the space with the demeanour of a lady who might have many lovely songs, but is a bit scared of singing them – andmai looking at the audience. Dressed all Maid-Marian-meets-Kate-Bush, she does the classic shy-girl thing of hiding under her hair (which is BIG and wavy and easy to hide under). With their obscure lyrics, made-up word song titles (‘Belispeak’, ‘Amenamy’, ‘Obedear’), non-singalong tunes and on-stage nerves Purity Ring might not be obvious stars, but who needs ‘stars’ when you can have some slightly weird Canadians making pretty bleepy music instead. [Below: the video for ‘Fineshrine’]


Guestpost: ‘Did anyone, last night, you know… did anyone… burst into song? ‘

Kate Nash and Emmy the Great present Once More With Feeling

Disclaimer: Before you read this I think it’s only fair that I let you know that I’m a renowned pusher. At last count I converted 9 people into Whedon junkies and I have a feeling after this the stakes are pretty high to make double figures.

All Hallow’s Eve is typically a night where I buy a pumpkin with the  intention of carving a masterpiece but end up eating too many treat bags of Haribo which I’m forced to digest boa constrictor-style on the couch. Every year I toy with the idea of going to a masquerade ball but quite frankly I am terrified of clown costumes parading themselves up and down the city so generally I put on the beloved Hocus Pocus and call it a night.  To be fair it can be a challenge to get me out at all in the winter months as I tend to hibernate and wallow in the warmth of the inaugural Buffy re-watch.

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