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Monthly Archives: November 2014

This Is My Church

As you guys might have seen on Twitter already, (or not) I’ve put up a link to part 1 of my look back at the best music of 2014 on Mixcloud. Fuck it, here it is again:

As much as I love doing The Sam & Joe Show and have the best laugh doing it, producing and presenting music radio is, and always has been my thing. It’s my forte. It’s the Ying to my Ying. It’s the Yang to my Yang.

I had a very enjoyable time today doing this podcast/hour show… thing. It will hopefully be used in some kind of showreel that I plan to formulate in the near enough future for when I am applying for jobs in radio, and that.

So sit down, get a cup of tea, (preferably PG Tips or Yorkshire) and enjoy listening to me bouncing around the studio to some awesome music that has come around in the last 12 months. Cheers.

NB: Part 2 of 2 will be put up on my Mixcloud in a week’s time. Watch out for that shit.

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

I Still Love You NME

Aah, good old NME. It’s one of those magazines and online music sites that really bloody annoys me sometimes, whether it be me heavily disagreeing with an album review they’ve done or if an interviewer has gone off on a massive tangent in an interview with a reforming band that you’re really excited about seeing live again, (‘cos this does happen more often than not).

I say this because in the last couple of days they have released their annual list of their top tracks and albums of the year, voted democratically amongst their headquarters based in the capital. Top pick of the tracks is ‘Seasons (Waiting On You)’ by Future Islands and the winning album is St Vincent’s eponymous self-titled.

It’s honestly so refreshing to see that NME haven’t gone for the big names or the most anticipated and written-about albums, unlike last year when Arctic Monkeys’ ‘AM’ claimed top spot.

Even the top 5 this year is a pleasant surprise with everyone from St. Vincent to Caribou to Mac DeMarco (a former interviewee of mine I must add) being honoured. It just goes to show AND PROVE that the best and biggest music magazine in the country (in my opinion) still care about the smaller bands and artists, ones who might never headline the pyramid stage at Glastonbury, or even the NME/Radio 1 stage itself, but still manage to write, produce and release good, consistent alternative music that appeals to their niche audience.

Coming back to that Mac DeMarco interview, I’m still irritated that I haven’t been able to track down that file. It would be great to include in a future showreel of mine. The interview itself got played out on a very early show that I presented on Tone, over  two years ago now, before the days of The Sam & Joe Show. I was pretty proud of that interview as well, and it is undoubtedly now the biggest name I’ve ever had the pleasure of speaking to on a first-name basis (unless a drunken conversation with Freddie from The Vaccines counts).

Alright then, that doesn’t count. He was the biggest name I’ve ever spoken to SOBER. Happy?

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Dittys & Interludes – Fun In The Rehearsal Studio

Last night saw the first time me and the rest of the still unnamed band play in an actual, proper rehearsal studio. We had practiced prior once, in Vince’s (the bassist’s) living room. This was great, however it was more acoustic as we did not have a fully functional drum-kit to hand and it turns out that he lives above a laundrette so we couldn’t make loads of noise. So yesterday, we went fucking nuts.

It was honestly so fulfilling. Years of sitting in my room playing acoustic guitar on my own was finally set aside for two hours of raucous, demon-releasing playing.

After setting up, we started out by playing and going through a few times a number of covers, including songs by The Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine. These sounded great but I think we all agreed afterwards that what we enjoyed doing the most by going into the ‘dittys and interludes’ as they were coined last night.

These usually started off by me playing a generic riff on guitar, such as Nirvana’s ‘Come As You Are’. Vince and Richard (drummer), are both big Nirvana fans so they nonchalantly joined in without really thinking about it. I suppose really this was just good, sportsmanly musicianship more than anything. They also came around by Rich playing a simple drum beat and then between the three of us, we started conceiving rhythm and blues type music, which sounded amazing. Thankfully the room was quite spacious and it also gave scope for Tom (other guitarist and vocalist), to walk or run around and sort out the feedback required for the next cover we were about to play and join in whenever he felt necessary.

I also got to hear one of the first songs I ever wrote, ‘Night and Day’ with a full band behind it. For the most part it was near enough how I’ve pictured it in my head for years and this gave me a great sense of relief and as Vince put it afterwards, I did somewhat feel like I’d just released my ‘inner beast’.

All in all, bloody great evening and a hell of a lot of fun. Should be having at least one more rehearsal session before we all piss off home for Christmas so that will more than likely be written about on this very blog.

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Music In 2014 – A Surprising Result

Today I decided to start doing some pre-production for a couple of solo podcasts, an hour each, on the best alternative music of the past twelve months.

On my Itunes, I changed the library settings to predominantly show the year, scrolled to 2014, and started to depict what to include in the specialist music programmes, that will become available to listen to online come mid-December.

As I was doing this, I noticed that it has IN FACT been a pretty strong year for guitar music. If I look at the bands that I’ll be playing and talking about on the shows, we’ve got Slipknot, Pulled Apart By Horses, Kasabian, The Black Keys, Foo Fighters, Ben Howard, Eagulls and Royal Blood.

Of course, some of these acts do intersperse elements of different genres. For example, Kasabian have started to use synthesisers fairly prominently recently, especially on their ’48:13′ album release in Summer this year. However, all of these bands (and more) have had a brilliant 2014. Look at Royal Blood, they’ve just been announced as one of the supports bands for Foo Fighters at Wembley in June next year! This is incredible for a new UK two-piece who just wrote garage rock songs for the hell of it in Brighton.

What I’m trying to say is, don’t panic. Guitar music is on the rise. In the last two weeks or so, I have been literally obsessed with this new two-piece (again), from Kent called Slaves. These guys are unbelievably exciting. Last night on Twitter I compared them to The Sex Pistols due to their gritty Southern accent, heavy riffs, loud drums and energy. They also politically speak for our generation to a certain extent. If you’re interested, check out the new song, ‘The Hunter’. This is a fantastic record. It shouts at you with such vigour and venom and everything else beginning with V. Also, my tweets got a favourite from their tour manager, so he must agree with me here!

Anyway, I digress. To condense this post into one summarising sentence, I’m confidently hopeful for 2015 with regards to guitar music.

NB – I am a big fan of many music genres, so I’m not trying to look biased. It’s only that guitar music is the closest to my heart and I can be annoyingly passionate about such matters at times. Cheers.

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Sonic Highways – Second Thoughts?

So, first of all, sorry it’s been a while. I have been trying to heavily adjust to life in the third year and it’s safe to say that it’s pretty mental, and honestly, I just forget to blog. I have all these great ideas for posts and I just forget, every, bloody, day.

Secondly, I’d like to present you all with a thought. Anyone that knows me will know that I am a massive fan of the stratospheric Foo Fighters, the global rocklords that be. I’m sure you’re all aware by now that they have just released their eighth studio album, ‘Sonic Highways’. For those that have been living under a rock, the album holds eight songs, all of which were written and recorded in eight different, famous American cities, each one an iconic haven of their own musical heritage. The album has also been heavily supported by a documentary series (aired on BBC Four, again following the theme of eight with eight episodes). This shows the band writing and recording the songs and Grohl interviewing these cities’ local musical innovators. For example, Chicago blues guitarist and singer, Buddy Guy was greatly involved in the Chicago episode, where album lead single ‘Something From Nothing’ was written and recorded.

I am hugely hooked to the series and I cannot wait to slot that album into my stereo and love life. However, it’s getting a little bit corny. The third episode, set in Nashville, showed Grohl really getting into touch with the local scene and writing lyrics that, quite frankly, didn’t sound like they were written by the Foo Fighters. So far from what I’ve heard, I’m disappointed with the album lyrically. Every song seems to be touching upon the city that they were written in.

I understand what this is meant to be about, and I understand what the band have set out to do and musically, I do love it but the lyrics make me cringe somewhat, especially at the end of each episode of the series when the band perform the song and the lyrics come up on screen in time to the vocals, essentially forming an actually interesting lyric video.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is, I don’t know where I stand with it at the moment. I have a bad feeling that it will all backfire in the band’s face, and from being a lifelong fan, I do not want this to happen, despite my moaning.

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2014 in Uncategorized