Saturday, February 28, 2009

Night: Crude and Dorkmeister present LAST NIGHT

My good friends Crude and Dorkmeister are a couple of DJs whose mega-sick and eclectic mixes are matched only by their brilliant song choice. CCRs "Fortunate Son" into The Lonely Island's "Jizz in My Pants"? Why not. After rocking underground house parties from West Surry Hills to East Redfern in Australia they've decided to take their Daft-Punk-esque live show to the Northern Hemisphere - Amsterdam to be exact. Last Night is the gig, Cafe Batavia the venue, Saturday the 7th March the date. Watch out for the promotional tour where a bronzed statue of Dorkmeister will float down every canal in the city centre, it's HIStory in the making.
last night poster 1

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Video: Dananananaykroyd live in Amsterdam

So SPINearth has finally launched and the wait was well worth it. It looks great with a big screen that can go Theatre-sized should you desire. Joining cities and their music scenes from all over the world you can jump from Toronto to Bogota and over to Paris with Hercules & the Love Affair, Gogol Bordello and Emiliana Torrini. Of course you can always stop into Amsterdam and see what I've been up to - like seeing Glaswegian lunatics Dananananaykroyd. Get involved.
As ridicululululous as their name, Dananananaykroyd play indie punk with a stutter; quick, hyperactive and erratic. If it were a math rock test they'd have got a C- because it's not quite sharp and calculated enough. They take something from the genre for sure, but only about as much as you or I took from math class.
The Glaswegians have an angular inclination but their geometry doesn't always line up, so they move into straight up and down indie thrash with one singer also lending himself to be a second drummer in case it wasn't frenetic enough.
Through shouts, hollers and wails they careened about the stage with a lot of effeminate posturing as if to offset the balls in their music.
A young band, you could tell Dananananaykroyd, all six, were stoked to be playing to a full Heineken Music Hall, even if just in support.
Their sound holds a kinetic energy but probably not the cleanest, most efficient resource, with waste in feedback and shambolic riffage. Alas it's this chaos that makes them all the more fun. A complete surprise – definitely worth catching live.

Dananananaykroyd mySpace
Dananananaykroyd blog

Friday, February 20, 2009

Video: "I'm on a Boat"

The Lonely Island are three dudes from SNL who have got together and dropped a comedy album called Incredibad. This here delight entitled "I'm on a Boat" features T-Pain being, well T-Pain.

Thanks to Benjamin Radley for the link.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Video: Kaiser Chiefs Rock Amsterdam

The SPIN Earth website has launched at long last and you should all go and check it out. It's a pretty slick operation, a must for all music-loving travelers or travel-loving musos alike. You can watch the best gigs from New York, Paris, London and Sydney but also dive into the music scene of Lagos, Singapore, Bogata, Adelaide and shitloads more. Also, if you are planning to travel, scope out who's playing in your destinations in the coming months with the gig guide. Nothing sucks more than getting to Berlin to find out Kraftwerk has sold out. Anyway, Monday night I hit up the Kaiser Chiefs show at Heineken Music Hall, here's my report.

View video

"We are the Kaiser Chiefs and we demand perfection," announced Ricky Wilson to the sold out Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam.
A boisterous frontman, a 'raise the roof' sound, an electric light show, and simple lyrics the fans love to shout en masse all make for a fun gig.
And whether you loved them when they first came out and still love them today, or feel they've lost that initial punch that had them giving relief from moppy Britpop while predicting riots back in 2005, there's no denying the Kaiser Chiefs are meant for the stadium.
Sure enough the Leeds lads brought with them their infectious yell-a-longs and it's hard to deny them, even for the most subdued Dutchie or cool kid that thought the Kaisers were 'so 2005'.
Opening with "Spanish Metal" and "Everyday I love You Less and Less" with new songs "You Want History" and "Good Days Bad Days" rounding out the middle, it gave space for crowd favourites "Ruby" and "I Predict A Riot" to close the first part of the show – fans going suitably nuts, reminding us of the urgency and freshness that rode on this post punk, new wave revival four years ago.
The encore was reserved for the likes of Kaiser classics "Modern Way" and finale "Oh My God". What is a bit of a nothing song on record in my opinion turned into a rollicking blaspheme-fest live. As Ricky sang the crowd replied, to quote the song's own line, "coming back stronger than a powered-up Pac-Man". Amidst the climax, the back wall bleachers were finally on their feet having seemed reluctant the majority of the show, while on the floor the less-reserved flung near empty beer cups, the last drops of a good session tossed in celebration, piercing the light show. The Kaiser Chiefs' last show in Europe for this tour went out with a bang, leaving a smiling, sweaty crowd.

Kaiser Chiefs website
Kaiser Chiefs mySpace

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Video: When I Grow Up - Fever Ray

When I Grow Up from Fever Ray on Vimeo.

In the midst of watching all things Fever Ray over the past week the video for second single "When I Grow Up" has gone live. Pretty stunning work by Martin de Thurah and keeps a similar haunting mood to the Andreas Nilsson-directed video to "If I Had A Heart", just a little more suburban. The model looks like she's coming down off an MGMT concert - which is probably a good way of describing Fever Ray.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Review: Dan Auerbach - Keep It Hid

From: Time Out
Last year’s Attack Release by The Black Keys saw the duo break into multi-dimensional roots music beyond the stripped-back electric blues of previous records.
Now, singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach’s first solo album Keep It Hid continues the exploration. Opening is ‘Trouble Weighs A Ton,’ a solemn chain-gang gospel before the devilish ‘I Want Some More’ thunders in. ‘Whispered Words’ blends a slow motown swing with Auerbach’s mournful blues voice. ‘Mean Monsoon’ has a voodoo haunt that spills into the dark and dangerous psychedelia of ‘The Prowl’ while ‘My Last Mistake’ feels like freewheeling CCR. Final tune ‘Goin’ Home’ is a little ditty that ends with front porch wind chimes and a sense of ease that re-instils a desire to sit on Auerbach’s veranda, a case of beer between us and get educated by his record collection, track by track til the rains roll in.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Mixtape: The Dudez - Mixtape Madness pt 2

Being a gentleman I let the ladies go first yesterday. Today here are three mixes by the brutes, the lads, the dudes. Whether I find a hermaphrodite mixtape tomorrow to round out the sexes, well you'll just have to come back and check. For now we've got three of the best, but very different mixes.
Lords of the Synth mixtape -
Bachelor #1 – Lords of the Synth love electronic beats, snowboarding, long walks on the beach and intergalactic civil war.

Captain Franco mixtape -
Bachelor #2 - Captain Franco loves music that crackles, sailing, Red Stripe and Rhonda back in one piece (you prick whoever you are).

Radge mixtape -
Bachelor #3 - Radge enjoys the sunsets of chill out albums, singlets, long necks, beards and classic rock from the 60s, 70s 80s and today.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Mixtape: The ladiez - Mixtape Madness pt 1

My wallet is more barren the Sahara, Antarctica and Nicole Kidman all put together which sucks but as a result I love free music.
So if you, like me, are barren and like free music here are two great mixtapes. And what's more they are all mixed by the finer sex. Dudes mixtapes tomorrow.
Bad Wives mixtape -
They're evil enough by themselves but when DJ Crane and Vivienne Kingswood formed Bad Wives the duo's cuts were deadlier than Lorena Bobbit with a kitchen knife.

DJ Crane mixtape -
During her teen years she was always in the nurse's office at school... cus she was fully sick!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Fever Ray - I'm scared shitless

If you don't know Karin Elisabeth Dreijer Andersson, she forms one half of Swedish outfit The Knife and is about to release her debut solo project Fever Ray.
I'm interviewing Karin in just a couple of hours for top shelf lifestyle magazine Huck, and her infamous reluctancy for the media has me shitting my breeches. I've interviewed many an artist but it's been a long time since I was nervous about the encounter. As for the album...

Dark, mossy, cold and disorientating, yet still beautiful and enchanting Fever Ray is kinda like a really sexy ghost. Karin's voice ranges from trembling and fragile to a stronger haunt. Where The Knife stabs, Fever Ray weeps - but under the weep is a tense, vengeful sound. "Seven" has more than a touch of Royksopp in its beat while the beat for "Triangle Walks" is like Enya on a bad trip. Karen O needs to borrow "When I Grow Up" for the Where the Wild Things Are soundtrack. So too could first single and album opener "If I Had A Heart", a prowling slow trance with a deep looming chant running throughout. The film clip is by The Knife's live visual artist Andreas Nilsson and is like voodoo on the bayous, and at just 4 minutes is far scarier than an entire sitting of Twilight.

Fever Ray is out March 18 but is digitally available via Amazon or Klicktrack.

Anyway, wish me luck with the interview.

UPDATE: she was lovely.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Arbeit Nervt - mentos and coke sex party

I've been meaning to post this for a while but not got round to it.
If you like electro by German men painted in black light paint getting buck wild with the old "mentos in a coke can" trick then you'll probably enjoy this video.

Review: Ugly Duckling at Paradiso

Ugly Duckling: song - "I won't Let It Die" from Audacity

I don't want to be all like "remember the ol' skool', but, remember the old skool? Shit moves so fast that when I say "old skool" I'm really just referring to four years ago, back when DJs used records rather than CDs, laptops or serato. I mean proper turntablism, and where a rap show was simply two turntables and a microphone.

These days Ugly Duckling are not the coolest thing in hiphop, no autotune or krunk beats, no T-Pain. Andy C looks like your IT guy on casual friday in white sneakers, blue jeans and a white button-up shirt while Young Einstein, with his baggy cargo pants and goatie beard could be your mechanic. It's really only the tattooed and heavy Dizzy Dustin that still looks part of the 2009's hiphop culture.

But the boys from Longbeach maintain that conscious/backpacker hiphop sound of the 90s for fans of J5, Kool Keith, Beastie Boys and the Native Tongues groups like A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul and Jungle Brothers. Live, most cuts came from 2001 debut Journey to Anywhere and 2003's Taste the Secret, knowing full well that's what the crowd came to hear, but a few newbies were peppered throughout from upcoming Audacity. It was the bigger tunes where horns blazed, the breaks cracked and their upbeat raps that really got the crowd moving, yet occasionally they slowed their flow for the stoners. They brought up a female fan on stage for "Pick Up Lines" and invited one confident local MC to rap in Dutch, he did a decent job too. And if that wasn't enough, Dizzy shared the Jack Daniels from his rider, along with a whole bunch of cooties, with the entire front row before leaving. A fun show for sure... old skool, you know four years ago.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

I am no one

I've been told that my blog is not really bloggy enough. I guess that means I don't rant about random everyday stuff with wack english that I express off the top of my dome. I also lack slightly obtuse, maybe cool and probably ironic titles to blog entries. And when I blog I don't blog about other blogs enough, which is what most blogs blog about (to that I say, I have my selected music sources and that's all I need). The other problem is I blog about well known artists like Bruce Springsteen and Kaiser Chiefs, so my indie cred is questionable at best. I will try to rectify these matters.

The other day I went to see Ladyhawke at Melkweg through sleet/rain/snow at 11 o'clock at night on my bike, super syked to see a home-town girl (via Wellington) done good. I checked for a VIP entrance or at least VIP line cos my name was on the door but eventually had to stand in line like all the paying customers. Then as I approached the ticket booth to say I was on the guesty and request my media pass I looked over to my left and OMG, who's at the other counter asking for their media pass but Cobrasnake and Steve Aoki. I'm sweatin' cos the chick at the counter seems to be totes struggling to find my name, WTF. She asked my name again, I said it and told her what I did and then she checked another list, and then she asked a dude, and then she asked my name again, and then she asked 'was that with a C' and then she told me I wasn't on the list, WWF! A music hack's worse nightmare - might I actually have to pay for something? I bet this never happens to the guys at Stereogum or Gorilla vs Bear or even Bobby of Bobbysix fame. And never to Cobrabags and Aoki who coolly cruised on through in their ironic matching sweaters. Wasn't my as cool as coolly, my iron as irony and my douche as douchey? "But I'm the Stopdroprocknroll guy." I put my feet up on her desk and yelled down her phone like my profile pic (right, obvy) but she still didn't recognise me. "Recognise, Bitch!" She couldn't. Wow, what a wake up call. Maybe I wasn't a blogstar... But I didn't pay to go in ('sif!?) Instead I went right back home and checked my Google Analytics for reassurance I was important.
thanks for reading.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The boss is coming

Did you get the memo

Watch Bruce Springsteen - Born To Run  |  View More Free Videos Online at

Are the Kaiser Chiefs getting better?

A while back I had a lovely ol' chin wag with Mr Ricky Wilson of Kaiser Chiefs about "Off With Their Heads". I like their music. Not love, but they're good festival fodder with shouty, often spiteful, beer soaked anthems.
They play the Heineken Music Hall on Monday 16 Feb (for those reading in Australia, you'll be jealous to find out you're also missing out on the Australian Pink Floyd Show in the same arena on Monday 1 March) so get along if you're interested. There is a shorter interview about Ricky's love life in this month's Time Out, but whatevs. The charming Ricky Wilson...

Have you been to Amsterdam before?
Yes, yes, many times. It’s one of the places in the world we’re strangely popular. And we like going to places were we can play to lot’s of people

Did you ever come over here pre-fame, possibly a hedonistic pilgrammage?
Yes, we came over for a college trip but there was like four of us that didn’t smoke so we hung around together, supposed to be looking at art galleries but everyone was sitting around in coffeeshops. So we decided to get as drunk as humanly possible and we did and one night one of our tutors took us out to some very strange places and we lost him for three days. We all got back to our beds but he had a lost weekend. It’s nice to get to a point with a city where you can walk around it and know where things are.

Well congrats on Off With Their Heads.
Thank you, we are very pleased and we’re very proud.

It came out as expected?
We never expected to make an album this year at all, we were just going to take it easy. But yeah, we wouldn’t have released it if we didn’t like it. You can’t really plan an album. People say they wanted this or that but you just have to do what comes naturally and that’s what we did. It sounds like we were enjoying ourselves. Some of my favourite music is miserable, but we find it a bit difficult to be miserable.

A friend of mine recently interviewed Simon for an Australian magazine. Simon said for Yours Truly, Angry Mob is more musical than this one. How is this less musical?
I don’t know. That’s his answer. You’ve got five people in the band with five different opinions. I don’t know anything about the music, I just write the words, know what I mean. I love when people ask me what my musical influences are and I can just say “I write words”. Then they ask what are your lyrical influences? “Dunno, things ya see.”

Pretty stuff, colours...
Yes, exactly. What he probably means is we really tried to nail it on the last one and we tried to make the songs very songy songs. This was more just messing about. And not to detract from the last one but I think it’s great not to worry about how many songs are on an album and just do something you really like. Not everything has to be a single. Having that attitude you end up writing more singles.

Mark Ronson produced. Did you seek him out intentionally?
Not really. We kept bumping into him cos he’s a fan of the band. He came to a gig at Earls Court and said hello to us then Nick and I had a meeting with him. It was all a bit strange because he is the only producer who has actively contacted us about wanting to produce us. Normally producers sit in their office waiting for bands to contact them and then they pass bands on to their agent who says how much it will be and it’s all a bit about money. But this was more about the fact he really wanted to do it. We met him. We like him, that’s about 80 per cent. He’s the only one asking, he’s winning grammies so there must be something in it. And he’s in our age group. We’ve worked with people before who are brilliant but it’s always felt like we’ve had a fatherly figure in the studio. This time we were all messing about in a room and we were allowed to use everything.

And while he’s considered a current super-producer it was all kept pretty conventional?
We’re an indie band. That’s what we are. We were just messing about but there was some weird stuff we did. We did experiment more than ever on this record but you have to draw the line between experimenting and having brilliant songs and experimenting and having noise. It’s all well and good experimenting but we like really good tunes and we still want it based in melody… I feel Like I got bogies hangin out my nose… (reassured he didn't, he presses on). Experimentation is great and we enjoy it but we don’t want it to be the thing they’re listening to, we want them to be listening to the song.

Did he bring Sway or David Arnold (legendary James Bond composer) in?
No, he didn’t bring Sway in at all. Sway just came into the studio, he was passing by. Mark wasn’t there, I wasn’t even there. I was being a best man. And David Arnold, he’s friends with us because we worked together in '07 for the BBC. He came in to talk to Mark about the Bond theme that never happened. We asked if we could play him some stuff, we did and he rang back a couple of days later and said ‘is there anything you want me to do?’ It was more through us. Mark was good at bringing people into the studio that were famous for us to look at. Mark brought New Young Pony Club and Lily Allen into the studio. We wanted a Bananarama type thing so we thought let’s get Bananarama, but we were so impatient, we were moving so fast we wanted to do it now. So we said Mark, who have you got in your phone book? And we thought, 'perfect'.

Could you ever see the Kaiser Chiefs doing a Bond theme?
I’d love to do a theme, it’d be brilliant to do.

Is it in the Kaiser Chiefs canon?
Well all I’d have to do is write some words, that can’t be that hard. You just need to sing about guns and women.

You said you were already friends with Lily Allen?
Yeah, I met her for the first time ages and ages ago. I hadn’t heard of her, people were only just beginning to talk about her. I knew of her dad, Keith Allen. But I met her at this gentlemen’s club. I don’t know if she was in there with someone from her label and I remember someone saying she’s done a cover of "Oh My God" with Mark Ronson, who I hadn’t heard of at the time. I asked her if it’s any good. She’s very cute and smart and she said ‘It’s better than yours!”

You said you were writing an album that was fun and…
I don’t want it to sound like we were writing an album that was throw-away. It was fun to make but it’s not like we were writing Barney The Dinosaur.

But it’s fun and feels effortless. Is it hard to make is seem effortless?
No. But I don’t want to sound big headed because we do work very hard and there were long days that were stressful, but you can’t complain, it’s still sitting in a studio with your mates. It’s not really that much hard work. If we don’t really like a song it won’t get past the first ten minutes to get on the record. In that way it’s effortless. We’d be doing it anyway even if we weren’t successful. We wanted time off but after a couple of weeks it’s like, ‘well I don’t have any hobbies”.

As a PS, here's a video showing how lucky the Pro-tools generation are compared to the likes of the Beatles, as the band cover "Getting Better" on the original 4-track from the St Peppers recording.

As a PPS, the Press Associated reported this just a couple of days ago.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Andrew Bird flies into Amsterdam

Andrew Bird's new album Noble Beast is a beauty and on the shelves as of yesterday in Europe. Following on from 2007's Armchair Apocrypha, Noble Beast loops and builds, intertwining melodies into pop-crescendos like an indie-symphony.
In Amsterdam for a show at De Duif and a press day, I caught up with the Chicagian about the record, riding bikes in Amsterdam and even get political, chatting about O-bomb taking the White House.

For Amsterdammers wanting more on Andrew Bird, you can read my story on him in this month's Time Out, along with my interview with Kaiser Chiefs' Ricky Wilson and a CD review of Black Key's singer Dan Auerbach's solo record Keep It Hid. Or visit back here in a week or so and I will have posted them.