Wednesday, 30 May 2012

M83 Announce Extensive US Autumn Tour

So here's the second instalment in the 'creepy kids from the "Midnight City" video' series, as directed by Fleur & Manu. Where we first saw the institutionalised kids go ape-shit and break free in "Midnight City", now "Reunion" follows them showing just how weird their supernatural powers can be when they feel cornered.

The "Reunion" single package is out soon (no official date available through either their UK or US PR, or the official band site at the moment) and will contain mixes from the likes of Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr, Mylo and The Naked And Famous.

M83 are heading out on the road again after a slew of sold out gigs across the US and Europe earlier this year and full details on the upcoming autumn tour can be seen below (now that I'm moving to NYC soon, I'm gonna start posting as much US tour info as I can too. Whoop!).

UK Dates: 
26 Jun - Mandela Hall, Belfast
27 Jun - Picture House, Edinburgh
16 Jul - Somerset House, London - Sold Out

08 Nov - Brixton Academy, London

US Dates:
Aug 1 – Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory
Aug 2 – Munhall, PA – Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead
Aug 3-5 – Chicago, IL– Lollapalooza-Grant Park
Aug 7 – Portland, ME – State Theatre
Aug. 8 – NYC – SummerStage (Sold Out)

Sept. 1-3 – Seattle, WA – Bumbershoot Festival
Sep. 5 – Edmonton, AB, Canada – Edmonton Event Centre
Sep. 6 – Calgary, AB, Canada – Mac Ewan Ballroom
Sep. 27 – Lake Buena Vista, FL – House of Blues Orlando
Sep. 30 – Norfolk, VA – NorVa

Oct. 2 –NYC– Hammerstein Ballroom
Oct. 9 – New Orleans, LA – House of Blues New Orleans
Oct. 10 – Houston, TX – Bayou Music Center
Oct. 11 – Dallas, TX – Palladium Ballroom
Oct. 12-14 - Austin, TX - Austin City Limits Music Festival

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Album Stream : The Walkmen - Heaven

This gorgeous, pared-down offering from the New York five-piece is a quiet display of maturity and confidence. I've been loving this album for about two weeks now, so am excited to share a stream with you. If you've been a fan of the Walkmen for a while you'll already know about their ability to tap into the art of restraint - it's shown off to great effect on Heaven.

The band are playing the following UK shows this year:

Tuesday 12 June – Village Underground, London (sold out)

Sunday 19 August – Green Man Festival, Powys

Saturday 27 October – Birmingham Institute (£15)

Sunday 28 October – ABC, Glasgow (£15)

Monday 29 October – Vicar Street, Dublin (€26)

Tuesday 30 October – Ritz, Manchester (£15)

Thursday 1 November – HMV Forum, London (£17.50)

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Album Stream: Alt-J - An Awesome Wave

Alt-J are an indie four-piece currently inspiring all sorts of hyperbolic tweets from music industry people, so I figured I'd let you all have a listen to their debut album before it drops next Monday (May 28th) on Infectious Music. I saw these guys open for Ghostpoet a few months ago and have to say I wasn't overwhelmed by their live peformance. They seem to be another of those bands (and there's a post coming on this soon) who come together well on record but haven't cut their teeth live quite yet.

In any case, "Tessellate" is still a beautiful song and regardless of how awkward these guys are on stage, they can play it well. Have a listen and make up your own mind on whether they're worth the hype.

photo credit unknown. please help if you know who shot this!

Hanging Out with Icona Pop

Icona Pop are two beautiful Swedish women who make the kind of jubilant and euphoric pop their country's earning a rep for with every passing day (see Niki and the Dove, Robyn, Elliphant, etc). I met up with them before their Electricity Showrooms gig last week to chat about their latest single "I Love It" and why it's so hard to be taken seriously as an all-female act.

Caroline and Aino are both such sweethearts, but speak with a fierce passion when it comes to their creative control over what they do, and their insistence that 'pop' need not be a dirty word any longer. The full interview won't be coming out for a while yet, but here are some photos I snapped during our impromptu shoot in the pub. We giggled about everything from suitcases as dumbbells and sexist DJs to sexy French boys. It was basically like grabbing a drink with two friends and I can only hope they had as much fun as I did.

Check out the video for "I Love It" below: it's currently only out in Sweden but will be available on iTunes elsewhere soon and has already given the stamp of approval by everyone from Pop Justice and Pitchfork to Perez Hilton (for realz).

Monday, 21 May 2012

I'm DJing Sextape at The Macbeth this Friday

All kinds of sleazy musical things will be happening this Friday (May 25th) at The Macbeth in Hoxton. I, along with Chris from the almighty Family Ltd PR and resident Strong Look DJ Ben Loom, will be just some of the people taking to the decks over six hours of the horniest pop, rap and r'n'b to grace the pub's ears in some time.

Sextape started off as a night in Brighton and I'm pretty darn excited to be part of their latest venture into the Big Smoke. Throw some requests my way of songs you'd want to hear: think "Bump'N'Grind" by R. Kelly, "Pu$$y" by Iggy Azalea (below) and you're on the right track. Any raunchy Britney tracks are also welcome.

Entry's free on the night, as ever, I'm on from 10 - 11pm and it should be an awesome one. Check out the Sextape Tumblr for some (pretty NSFW) inspiration and listen to the awesome playlist put together by their team of resident DJs in the lead-up to Friday night's party.

Q & A with Blood Red Shoes

I rushed through a super-fast but hilarious interview with Laura-Mary Carter and Steve Ansell of Blood Red Shoes a couple of weeks ago. They're a pop-punk two-piece from Brighton whom I remember seeing at some point during my first year of uni, then basically forgetting about - on this particular night they were racing between a photoshoot backstage at Heaven and catching the opening songs in The Cast of Cheers' support set.

For those who aren't fans, they're back with a new record as of March this year though, and we blazed our way through a discussion on third album jitters, selling out and 'fucking with people' (Steve swears a lot). It's really interesting to see their dynamic in conversation: Laura-Mary shies away from answering questions with more than a sentence while Steve happily rants and rages. Then, when on stage, Laura-Mary transforms into a swaggering beast of a singer and guitarist: it's quite extraordinary.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Reviewed: Cloud Nothings at Cargo - May 9th, 2012

I went to see Cloud Nothings play Cargo last week, and my review's now up on Addict Music.

They put on an awesome show, plus I got to hang out with the lovely Natasha and Kate from their UK PR team. We all revelled in the brutality of their set before the lights cut out and they played a weird semi-acoustic end to the show.

Well done Cargo, again, for not having any technical staff in the room. Every time I've been to a show there and something's gone wrong, you've just got nonchalant bar staff at the back and bouncers on the door, neither of whom know what any of the cables mean. Seriously, just pay some people over-time so they stick around. 

Cloud Nothings killed it anyway though. Yay.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Album Stream: Simian Mobile Disco - Unpatterns

James Ford and Jas Shaw together make up the electro-house outfit known as Simian Mobile Disco, and released album Unpatterns on Monday (May 14th) via Wichita Recordings. I'm a bit of a late convert to this band, having only gotten into Attack Decay Sustain Release (in a big way) about four or five years ago, but think they're great.

They make deep bass drops and cerebral melodies work up a sweat in a way that doesn't over-intellectualise the genre (which is fine too, when done well) but also steers clear of a vacant 'girl, just shake that ass' style of dance music. They're playing a whole bunch of DJ dates around the UK for the next few months too, which you can see more on below. For now, check out the new album and support independent labels by nabbing it from Wichita if you like what you hear.

16 - Nuits Sonores: Lyon, France
18 - Fabric: London
19 - The Ship: Liverpool
20 - Optimo: Glasgow

09 - Parklife: Manchester
15 - Sonar Festival: Barcelona, Spain (live)
16 - Eremo: Bari, Italy
30 - Renegade On The Beach: Helsinki, Finland

04 - Pratersauna: Vienna, Austria
08 - T In the Park Festival: Kinross, Scotland
17 - Together, Ibiza
18 - Club Papaya (Wax:On presents): Novalja, Croatia

17 - Summersonic/Sonic Mania: Tokyo, Japan
18 - Summersonic: Osaka, Japan
23 - Zurich Open Air: Zurich, Switzerland
25 - Mysteryland: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
26 - SW4 Festival, London

Monday, 14 May 2012

Q & A with Zulu Winter

I grabbed some phoner time with Zulu Winter's bassist, Iain Lock, last week and we had a good old chat about hype bands and his fucked-up knee. That second part didn't make it into the edit I submitted to my editor at Don't Panic, but still made both of us laugh a lot.

Between giggles he opened up about the band's history, being courted by record labels before deciding on the awesome [PIAS], and working with video artist Alex Turvey on their new video for "Silver Tongue" (below). These guys are great, and are playing the Boston Arms this Thursday - they'll please fans of Wild Beasts, 80s synths and danceable indie-pop.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Reviewed: Simple Things Festival, May 6th 2012

Last weekend I went to Bristol to primarily see Grimes and Ghostpoet and review the shows for Addict Music. I only accomplished 50% of those aforementioned goals, but I did get to watch a bunch of acts I'd never seen before, as part of Simple Things Festival

Last year it was the festival that spawned some of the city's most infuriating queues (yes, I now know what it feels like to get to the front of a one-hour line just as the bouncer's all 'Yeah, none of the rest of you are getting in. Go home and cry about it or whatever losers do') but they sorted out a lot of that this time round.

I ended up catching Factory Floor, Lunice (above) and Caribou on DJ duties in a club where two lush girls I met at a festival last year were covered in glitter and my smiley companions for the end of the night. That was awesome. As far as music goes, there were a lot of intense schedule clashes but overall I reckon the organisers did well. See below for a more eloquent version of what I've just said:

all photos by me, in case you were pulling your hair out wondering.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Song of the Day: "Jumanji" - Azealia Banks

Here's potty-mouthed Miss Banks with another track for our ears to enjoy. It's been produced by Nick Hook and Hudson Mohawke (who, according to a now-deleted tweet, hadn't actually finished working on this rough but), has elements of calypso and doesn't sound too much unlike some of the lyrical rhyme-play on "Runnin'". 

As you've probably heard if you're a UK-based Banks fan, she's cancelled a slew of festival dates to focus on recording her upcoming album. That sort of sucks, but is also understandable. Click here to see the stages she'll still be gracing over the summer.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Reviewed: Niki And The Dove - Instinct

"This sparkling debut from the future pop duo proves a prolific string of EP releases doesn’t always lead to a disappointing full-length."

There's no point pretending otherwise: I love this band. And so writing this review was a difficult task, and one wrought with edits: the key? Keep that silly gushing to a minimum.

Whether or not I was successful in that is up to you to decide. Overall I'd say this is a strong debut offering, and a rewarding listen for any fangirls or fanboys of the band though - you're going to recognise a lot of songs but not get sick of hearing them again. Well, at least that's what I think. If you're new to the world of Niki & The Dove and you like music with pop melodies, drum machines and euphoric choruses, you're in for a right treat.

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