Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Indiana Handshake

"Based out of the Ocean State of Rhode Island, the band Indiana Handshake is a roller coaster ride full of head banging sharp turns and heart stopping high falls. They create a very unique sound made up of Experimental Rock, Alternative, Metal, Punk, and Hip Hop. These three extremely talented and hard working young men are passionate about their music and want it to be heard all over."

You can download their demo here, and visit the band's Myspace to check out more info.

EP Tracklisting

01. Greg the Wandering Nurse
02. Cirque de Quiray
03. Sharks Eat Cancer
04. Grace
05. Lucky #15
06. The Weight of the World (Instrumental)

Go check them out now!

Monday, 29 March 2010

Easter Break

I'm blogging from back home in rural Somerset! Not going to get much of a chance to feature much over this next week, but I do have an exciting interview coming up soon.

I'm so excited to see Bon Jovi in June, even more so now I've seen some of rarities that they've been slipping into their sets! It will also be cool to see them in an arena setting, when I've only been used to stadiums!

I've got an exciting week ahead of me, including a trip to the zoo tomorrow and a long weekend camping with friends; it's nice to be home although the constant drizzle isn't much fun. Ah well, here's wishing everyone a chocolate filled easter, see you on the other side about 2 stone heavier :)

Saturday, 27 March 2010

EP Review: Julian Shah-Tayler - Blah Blah Blahnik

The month of May marks the release of Julian Shah-Tayler's latest EP entitled 'Blah Blah Blahnik'. Julian has had a busy first year, as the official press release below documents:

It has been a good 2010 so far for Julian, he has been featured in the Huffington Post, and interviewed by E! about working with Joaquin Phoenix.

He has signed a publishing deal with Music Sales for the first album by his duo “Adamandevil” and seen “Wrap It Up” his co-write with “Whitey” featured in the Hollywood feature “Whip It”
He has also had many of his songs used in the indie features: “Prudence” and “Youthful Journeys Of The World” as well as an Australian Television show - “West Coast Diaries – Almost Famous.”
His debut performance with his new live band was for Angie Bowie, and their second show was an online TV broadcast on He also performed with Macy Gray and Rolan Bolan for the Hallowe’en special at Superhip LA nightspot Bardot

His debut EP: “Un Ange Passe” was released on 1st January to universal acclaim:

“Wetter is Massive, It will make (Julian) a star” – Alan McGee (Creation Records)
“Very Impressed” – David J (Bauhaus/Love and Rockets)
“Massive talent” – Boom Boom Chik
“A breathtaking talent” – Mojophenia
“Songwriting and performance is quite stunning” – Beehive Candy
“Wonderful Vocals…Production is superior” – Mark Fisher
“A superb ep” – Yorkie –
“Julian is seriously talented” – I Am The Programmer
“Extremely catchy” - Bomarrblog
“It’s like a magic carpet ride” – Mark Walbaum
“London new wave at its danceable best” –
“The brilliant Julian Shah-Tayler…..Stupidly good” – Liberty London Girl
“I was astounded to see the amount of energy he brought” -

You can download your copy of Blah Blah Blahnik for FREE right here (or offer a donation) in advance of its 1st May release date on iTunes. Below I've included a track-by-track guide.

Show Me Your Soul - A great hooky electro/rock number that sounds really fresh and now. The vocals sound wicked against the grooving drums and great sounding guitars, this song sounds like a hit. There's a cool synth journey in the second verse and the backing vocals in the chorus add a real depth to the track.

Force of Habit - The guitar work on this EP really shines through; the overall sound of the music has a far grittier edge than what I've heard from Julian before. This song is packed with great guitar-riff work; his voice is deep and sensual which reminds me of Ville Valo (HIM) against a cool upbeat background.

Butterfly - This is a real pub-rock anthem; chugging electric guitars, poppy drums and a real singalong chorus. The Lo-Fi feel after the first chorus is cool and I like the synth/guitar notes pushing against the straight grooves throughout the second verse. The guitar break after the second chorus is cool but I'd love for it to really push for centre stage with a huge solo on top of the mix; it just sits equal to everything else, show it off and take the song home!

Electricity - A virtuoso piano part sets the scene, differing itself from the dance-rock feel that the track's predecessors showcased. A calmer piano-driven ballad was exactly what the doctor ordered for track four and Julian's vocals sound great on this track. A really nice song.

Blood Destiny - We're sticking with the calmer feel again with this track which is nice; I'm in that mood thanks to the previous track. When the track gets going I love the drums with the acoustic guitar and Julian's deep vocals really top it off nicely. It's not a real stand-out track but is great in its own right; the track builds cleverly and the acoustic guitar work is top class.

Say What You Want (Jason Air remix) - A real grooving dance track to cap off the EP in style; it's a perfect ending. The track is a real foot-tapper featuring great samples and some wicked beats. It's eclectic and odd and this is what makes it perfect; it's a real cooking pot of ideas.

Overall it's a great display of Julian's talents and of his variety in music making. The EP is a real musical journey; taking us from grooving pop rock, chilling out with some more mellow tracks and finishing with a real rave of a tune. I urge you to download the EP now!

Visit Julian

Friday, 26 March 2010

Just for fun

Using only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions...something for fun :)

Are you a male or female:
Last Man Standing

Describe Yourself:
I Got The Girl

How Do You feel:

Describe Where You Currently Live:
Two Story Town

If You Could Go Anywhere, Where Would You Go:
Tokyo Road

Your Favorite Form Of Transportation:
Fast Cars

Your Best Friend Is:
Born To Be My Baby

You And Your Best Friends Are:
We Rule The Night

What's The Weather Like:
99 in the Shade

Favorite Time Of Day:
August 7, 4:15

If Your Life Was A TV Show, What Would It Be Called:
Story of my Life

What Is Life To You:
It's My Life

Your Relationship:
I Want To Be Loved

Your Fear:
Without Love

What Is The Best Advice You Have To Give:
Never Say Goodbye

Thought For The Day:

How I Would Like To Die:
Wanted Dead or Alive

My Soul's Present Condition:
The Fire Inside

My Motto:
I'll Sleep When I'm Dead

Thursday, 25 March 2010

What is music?

Let's ignore the obvious. A series of notes, a bunch of melodies and rhythms, what actually makes music music? It makes people feel alive. It literally is the blood in my veins, it's how I express myself, how I enjoy myself, it makes me happy and sad, it comforts me and pisses me off. It takes me on journies and I purposely get lost. It takes me up to the highest peak, no, higher, and leaves me stranded, alone with myself to appreciate it and love it and live it. It is the reason I get up in the morning, what I do to learn and what I do for fun. It's somewhere I can escape; whether I'm onstage or sat on my bed. Without music, we would not laugh at films and we would not cry at films. Music is the reason I feel how I feel, whether it's certain bands I'm listening to or how I'm expressing myself when I'm lost playing drums in the familiar sensation, desperately wanting to be taken away forever, when I want to grit my teeth and squeeze my hands tight into fists and cry, when I'm the only person in a room full of people, when I disappear in front of others, but I know they can still see me. Music taught me how to love, how to dress, how to act; the constant rhythms in my head accompany me as I walk alone, as I wait, as I drift off to sleep. It brings me and others together, it's a universal language we all share that doesn't judge, it doesn't discriminate, it's unaffected by wars and religion and governments and everything that's wrong about this world. I cannot imagine a life without music. It would be a life literally not worth living, because what do we have if we don't have music, and what do I have without an outlet, a way to express myself, to impress others, or for my own satisfaction? It is not something you accomplish and leave be, there is always more to learn, more to discover, more to love. And when the music takes you away, wherever it takes the person that you are, it's an identity, a badge, a middle finger to society and an embrace with the world. Music makes people, it destroys people, it makes people rich and famous and it makes them bankrupt and leaves them at their most vulnerable. I dare you to imagine your life without music; without your eternal soundtrack, without your identity, without what makes you and breaks you, shows you which path to take and makes you happier than you've ever been before. Music means one thing or a million things to every single person; whether it's a lifelong passion or a mere cog in one's menial existence. Music dares me to dream and I want to be surrounded by it until the day I die.

Analog Music from a Lost World

"Analog Music from a Lost World" - previously unreleased post-punk experimental rock from 1981, unlike anything else recorded before or after.

Critical Acclaim

"It's amazing!" -- Gibraltar Encyclopedia of Progressive Rock

“Here’s something lovely and odd from the Free Music Archive: the Karen Cooper Complex.” -- No Rock and Roll

"...some hefty grooves, and plenty of 'holy shit" moments'. It's a spacious but highly rewarding listen, and I wouldn't be surprised if some label makes an effort to press this on vinyl in the near future." --

Jason Sigal, Managing Director at WFMU said:
"This is amazing stuff and we would be honored to feature it in wfmu's curated portal on the free music archive. I'm very sorry for our slow response, we have a lot of stuff to wade through to find gems like these."

If you're interested in this odd, eclectic mix of songs, you can hear it here.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Baby hates Miley Cyrus...but loves Bon Jovi!

This made me smile, I saw it on the Unofficial Bon Jovi blog Blame It On The Love and just had to share it!

Sunday, 21 March 2010

It's Been Quiet

As the title suggests, it has been a quiet week in music-land this week. I have been re-discovering old artists that have somehow found their way to the back of my CD collection (I haven't given in to the digital revolution yet). I guess 'shuffle' on iTunes is cool as you can be surprised by what it might throw at you next, but it doesn't beat physically discovering an album and carrying it to the Hi-Fi with anticipation of old familiar songs and the forgotten memories that go with them. So, albums that have currently been in circulation this week:

Zero 7 - Simple Things (so many memories of long, late-night drives back from gigs afar)
Audioslave - Audioslave
Rage Against The Machine - Live at the Olympic Auditorium
Nickelback - Dark Horse (love the production on this album)
John Mayer - Battle Studies (Assassin is an awesome track; the best on the album)
Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More (it seems everytime I look for tickets, they've always just finished touring!)
Bon Jovi - New Jersey (my Jovi records are lined up in order of release; great for picking the ideal sound I'm looking for at that time!)

It is the last week of uni next week before Easter, it will be nice to have a break! Will hopefully have some more reviews for you soon, enjoy your Sunday :)

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

The Vinyl Project - 'Come And Get Me' Video

You may remember my review of The Vinyl Project and their 'dirty sexy jazz' a month or so ago. Well, I'd like to share with you their first video to the track Come And Get Me below:

You can visit The Vinyl Project at their Myspace page.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Congratulations to Belle Fantaisie!

Congratulations to Belle Fantaisie who won the ASOS Access All Areas competition; many thanks to all who voted! She now gets the chance to be part of the Bloggers fashion event in London this Thursday plus also recieves some goodies courtesy of ASOS!

Belle Fantaisie is a fantastic fashion blog, who also blogs for ASOS life.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Please vote for Kirsty!

Please vote for Kirsty (aka BelleFantaisie) HERE on the Asos Community, for a chance for her to be a part of the Asos Access All Areas Bloggers Event next Thursday in London.

All it takes is one click, no registering needed! Belle Fantaisie is a fantastic fashion blog that is well worth checking out, and Kirsty also spends time blogging on the Asos Community.

The voting closes on Monday 15th March at 5pm so you haven't got long! Thank you for your help :)

Review: The Joe Public - Take it Back

I've got my hands on the latest release from the fabulous Joe Public guys. It's called Take it Back, and as you may know from my previous post on the band, their latest nationwide tour of the same name is currently well underway. Check out my review of the track below!

Take it Back - We're straight in with a real down-n-dirty riff; it's got the classic Joe Public feel with all the energy and grit to boot. It's reminding me of a mix between Queens of the Stone Age and Muse, really cool stuff. The riff calms down allowing the mellow yet determined lead vocals to carry us off and I haven't stopped nodding my head yet. The drums and bass together are perfectly tight and have nailed the groove wonderfully, a real feature of the band's fantastic musicianship. The chorus really explodes from the similiar yet subdued verses, and I love the half-time feel behind the guitar solo; it's brilliantly constructed with winding lead notes on top of the mix but with a hidden crunch nestling beneath, before the full band stab at the accents in the riff to bring back in the last chorus. I love the desperate backing vocals over the last chorus, before being treated to that infectious riff one last time. It's their most commercial and professionally sounding release yet and things can only get better for The Joe Public from here on out. Remember to catch them live soon, you won't be able to reach out and touch before long...

You can download your own copy of Take it Back on iTunes, and can also hear a sample at the band's Myspace page. Whilst there, be sure to check out their remaining tour dates plus a great new set of photos.

Praise for Take it Back
"I really like the new single from The Joe Public. 'Take it Back' is full of great musicianship and shows great potential."
Richard Jones - Stereophonics

Thursday, 11 March 2010

EP Review: Lauren Bannon - Turn To Brass

Lauren Bannon is a fantastic young singer from Bournemouth, signed to the indie label Mid Tone Records. Last night a friend and I went along to the Soul Cellar in Southampton to see Lauren and her guitarist Chris Pearce perform two great sets for her EP launch. Below is a review of the two tracks from the EP 'Turn to Brass'.

Shaky - Bannon's sultry vocals have a great mature sound for her tender years; a real soulful nod to Amy Winehouse. Shaky tells the story of a modern day Romeo and Juliet couple (minus the poisoning part) assuming the lovers are still alive and kicking in present times. The vocals are immediate which is great; the impact is sudden and gripping. I love the ad-lib vocals on the upbeat chorus; it's a great acoustic guitar riff and the sound is simple yet effective. The nuances in Bannon's vocals don't go without notice and, although subtle, work perfectly. The song's got a great feeling that just makes you want to dance; my head is nodding and although the shaker/tambourine part works, I'd love to hear the song develop with some drums and bass behind it. The overdubbed backing vocals are wicked over the last chorus, sitting nicely behind the lead vocal and although the ending is busy, this works well, however the final end to the song sounds a little abrupt.

Turn to Brass - The vocals are even more gripping here; the tone to Bannon's voice is sublime and I've got good feelings about her future career in music. It's a really professional sounding voice, honed wonderfully and the eerie cello accompanies cool picking guitar to create a great arrangement. This is the song that works fine without drums; the bass of the cello sits really well with the high pickings of the guitar. The vocals ooze passion and feeling and hurt, it's a great vocal performance from Bannon and when she really pushes her voice just before the end it's a really special moment in the song; you know the climax is near and you don't want it to end. A really touching, almost haunting song.

I really enjoyed Lauren's EP, although feel, at least based on this, her live performances suit her far better. That's not at all to take anything away from a great CD, but if you really want to see her at her best then live is definitely the place. Even having to compete with a noisy upstairs club last night in the cellar of her launch-night venue, the performance was fantastic and really worth checking out for yourself. Her presence onstage is almost seductive, and her voice carried to the back of the room and beyond.

You can hear more from Lauren Bannon at her Myspace page and find out where she's playing soon. Lauren Bannon is signed to Mid Tone Records.

Loz Koleszko EP - 'Gravel Spines'

I have been asked to share with you the news of the new EP from Loz Koleszko titled 'Gravel Spines' on the critically acclaimed netlabel The Centrifuge.

You can download/stream your free copy of the EP here.

About Gravel Spines

Gravel Spines is a series of compositions for piano recorded during a period of heavy snowfall in 2009. This is a collection of music which seeks to trace the spaces between notes to form a temporal structure for the purpose of erasing itself immediately afterward.
Six tracks of autumnal, post-ambient piano: a musical backdrop for shooting zombies, exploring abandoned buildings and cutting your fingers off.

About Loz Koleszko
Loz Koleszko is a composer and sound designer from the Middle Of Nowhere. He writes music to imaginary films that don’t yet exist. Loz burst onto the electronica scene in 2002 with his debut EP 'The Monkeys Danced Like Cuboids' released on the now infamous 1 Man Army Records to much acclaim. After promoting the EP with a legendary tour of the UK, Koleszko moved out of the public eye and into the studio, emerging briefly in 2007 with the dense ambience of 'The More I Sleep' (1 Man Army Records) and again in 2008 with the digital assault of (Tetra-Pak Gardening Quarter' (The Centrifuge).


Loz Koleszko
Gravel Spines
The Centrifuge

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Catch The Joe Public on tour NOW!

The Joe Public are currently embarking on their UK 'Take It Back' tour. Be sure to catch them at a small and cheap venue before these guys hit the big time!

Remaining Tour Dates (correct at time of publishing)

11/03 - The Fleece, Bristol
12/03 - Bell on the Green, Devizes
13/03 - Guildhall, Gloucester
18/03 - Perfect Fifth, Taunton
19/03 - Champions, Bournemouth
24/03 - The Riflemans Arms, Glastonbury
26/03 - The Furnace, Swindon

Check out The Joe Public at their Myspace Page or their label's Myspace Page.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Eleanor Conway Interviews Miike Snow

Here, Eleanor Conway of Virgin Red Room talks with Miike Snow. Eleanor produces online music interviews featuring lots of different cross-genre artists, and you can see more interviews here.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Sometimes, you just have to listen.

Yesterday afternoon, I did something I haven't done in a long while. I listened to music. But, I mean really listened. It wasn't the soundtrack to my day, the background noise to accompany me, perhaps make me feel loved or not alone, it didn't fill a void as I undertook some menial task, I wasn't aware of it every so often, as I breezed in and out. No, it had my full, complete and undivided attention. I just looked at nothing. I did nothing. I let the music take me away like it used to, before you get too caught up in trying to live your life. Was it Paul McCartney who said 'life was just what happened while we were busy making other plans'? It was an album I have listened to a million times over; These Days, my favourite Bon Jovi album. But it doesn't matter how many times I've listened to it through, still I hear new things. And you can only achieve this by just listening. So today, I urge you to put on music as you might very well plan to do anyway, something you love or once loved. But don't read, don't surf the net, don't cook or clean, don't drive, just listen.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Tico Torres' Art

I wanted to share with you some of the artwork of Tico Torres. Torres is the drummer for Bon Jovi, however is also an avid golfer, painter and sculptor. Below are some of his pieces which caught my eye, but you can visit his website and take a virtual tour of his latest exhibition; there are some pieces in there which I love but couldn't copy here.

Torres' artwork is different and innovative; often it reminds me of Picasso's unsettling yet wonderful creations, but also indulges in sophisticated hints of the work of Jack Vettriano. What do you think?

How I wish I had thousands of pounds to splurge on such fantastic art!

Just dropping in

Just dropping in for a quick update, I am feeling ill at the moment which is rubbish. But I am however looking forward to seeing Alice in Wonderland tonight; I'm a huge fan of the Depp/Burton partnership and the masterpieces that they create.

It's not been the busiest of weeks although I'm excited about my new band; two practices and two songs can't be bad. It's going to be hard letting a singer in; not least of all because it's not your average verse/chorus/verse/chorus song-structures but also because it's hard letting any stranger in to a small and very tight-knit friendship group. And it's hardly about sitting next to someone on the bus, this is letting someone in to the circle and them being there hopefully for as long as they can be, thus really making something of this band. I feel very passionate about what we are doing yet anxious to share it with someone who, although may be the perfect singer, may not be the perfect person. Only time will tell...

Anyway I'm looking forward to a restful weekend of FA Cup football from the comfort of my sofa and will hopefully feel rejuvenated before Monday comes around. Have a good weekend all :)