Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Green Day...on Broadway!


As you may or not know, Green Day have had their back catalogue turned into a Broadway Musical entitled American Idiot. I'm sure this will come against stern criticisms but I think it's definitely a very cool and modern step for Theatre. With David Bryan's great shows The Toxic Avenger and Memphis, musical theatre is being given a bit of a revamp and it's great to include some great Rock n Roll tunes in there; theatre isn't just about 'show-tunes' and cabaret anymore.

You can hear and purchase the American Idiot Original Cast Recordings here; it sounds just like Green Day with more vocal harmonies! For info on the show itself and a littel story behind the scenes, click here. I'd be interested to see how the die-hard Green Day fans take it, I'm not sure how I'd feel about a Bon Jovi musical...

Monday, 26 April 2010

Bibelots Introducing launches in London (feat The Joe Public)

Check out this cool little video with an interview with Jake from The Joe Public and a snippet of their set.

Uploaded by MusicTouristBoard. - Music videos, artist interviews, concerts and more.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Love's The Only Rule!

This is such a great song. And Tico Torres is the most underestimated drummer in rock, he just holds everything together so perfectly but when he lets go just a little bit it's such a treat! The passion with which he plays is unmatched, he's just a powerhouse! Nothing ever over-fancy, just truly great.

I enjoyed Later... this week; Kate Nash is back to her old boring chord-progressions but I enjoyed Plan B and his nod to Smokey Robinson, and also Band of Horses were pretty groovy. Melody Gardot was great, really dingy smoky stuff Jerry Dammer's Spatial AKA Orchestra were...interesting!

I also checked out Avett Brothers this week, whose likeness to the fantasic Kings of Leon is uncanny; they are from Nashville, are bearded with long hair and are related (although, I believe, don't beat each other up after shows!). But from what I've heard I've really enjoyed, a cross between KOL and Mumford & Sons, so check them out!

Unfortunately all the artists I've been trying to contact to review are all just wrapping up their latest EPs and albums over the next month so I'm probably going to have a bombardment in about a month of loads of reviews for you!

That is all for now, enjoy your week and remember, love is the only rule :)

Monday, 19 April 2010

Bon Jovi Tickets

I just had to tell someone. My Bon Jovi tickets came today, and I'm very excited. That is all!

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Why I'm Uncool, Jools, and Back to School.

So this afternoon I was watching a feature program on James Blunt with him performing and talking about his songwriting techniques, inspirations, etc. I love James Blunt's voice, but it seems a lot of the music I enjoy is greatly frowned upon by your average musician. Blunt, Bon Jovi and Nickelback are all great artists, but it's almost embarassing to admit in music-circles that you're a fan! I'm not at all ashamed of what I like (the Bon Jovi tattoo is a nod to that) but I don't really get why there are some bands that just aren't liked on such big scales. There's no corellation either, it can't be a tale of success (Bon Jovi are the poster band for success), it can't be their commerciality (both Blunt and Nickelback are the radio's darlings when they have anything new out); maybe it's just the 'cheese' aspect of these artists. But ah well, I love it so that's all that matters.

Later with Jools Holland is back on our screens in the UK and I love this show for showcasing and introducing me to new bands I've never heard of. I didn't much care for Paul Weller's stint although I really enjoyed Marina and the Diamond's vocals but not the music so much. For me though, Gogol Bordello stole the show. Although I've heard of them before, I'd never really listened to them and so their stomping gypsy-folk-rock was a huge musical slap in the face; their complex rhythms and ingenious melodies really took a hold of me, they were just great! I'm sure I'll be sharing much more on the featured artists in the coming weeks.

I'm back to Uni tomorrow after a three week break, which was capped off wonderfully by lots of sunshine and a trip to the beach with my girlfriend yesterday. I'm a little burnt on just one leg and have tan marks on my face from not taking off my sunglasses...but it was very relaxing and really hot! Unfortunately I'm slipping back into the grips of reality now, which includes wrestling with music software Sibelius for the next few weeks. Oh joy... have a good week whatever you're doing :)

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Cemetery Junction

Ok, it's a music blog, so I'll keep it brief...but today I watched Ricky Gervais/Stephen Merchant's new film Cemetery Junction. I've always been a huge fan of Gervais since The Office; his awkward comedy completely moulded by sense of humour and rules it to this day. I must have been about 11 or 12 when it came out, so in my vulnerable teenage years was open to any kind of influence! Luckily the sheer comedy genius that is The Office came along and was just perfect...OK not everyone really gets it: 'Is he telling a joke or just being sarcastic? God this is awkward...' but my friends do so that's all that matters!

Anyway, back to Reading, 1973. It wasn't a 'comedy' but it certainly had it's funny bits; it's not one of your 'oh Gervais always plays the same characters' films that he gets knocked for, he barely figures in the film itself as a character. A few nods to Stephen Merchant's googly-eyed stereotype and Karl Pilkington's hysterical, gormless face were enough for me but the script was so well written, the characters brilliant, the sets fantastic and the soundtrack had me tapping my foot the whole way through the film. Enough drama but not too serious, enough jokes but not too silly; it was the perfect mix and a completely enjoyable story. Not sure what the deal is with it's release in cinemas (sorry, theaters) outside of the UK but it opened here today so I definitely recommend going to check it out!

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Getting Excited!

It's just over two months now until my Bon Jovi show in June and I'm so very excited! Beginning to look at travel arrangements etc, it's a little easier this time as I have a set seat so no getting there at 9am and queuing until 4pm in the scorching sun!

Talking of sun, it's lovely to see it back here in England at the moment, I really hope it lasts! I've one more week off of uni for Easter before starting back again, although I do have work to do next week.

By the way, if you know of any great unsigned bands that you'd like me to review do leave me a comment for me to check them out! There isn't enough done to promote new and upcoming bands, which is one of the reasons I started this blog and hope that the artists that I have featured have gained some exposure/ticket sales/album sales etc!

Here's wishing everyone out there in Cyber World a happy and sunny week, and remember to catch the Bon Jovi Live Stream from Dallas tonight, I think 2am GMT. :)

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Q&A with Julian Shah-Tayler

I've secured a Q&A session with the previously featured artist Julian Shah-Tayler. Read below as he discusses working with Joaquin Phoenix, where he takes inspiration from to write and what's new for him right now. Enjoy!

Hi Julian, it's great to be able to send some questions your way. Firstly, the one I'm sure all my readers are dying to know about; how did working with Joaquin Phoenix come about? How was it?
So my friend Scott (Adamandevil) and I moved across to Los Angeles from England around the same time, and met up with an old friend, Alan McGee (Creation Records boss) who used to manage "Whitey" (my old band) to discuss him supporting our music with his new label. Alan had previously set us up with an audition for Courtney Love (another story!) and mentioned that he was considering managing a famous actor, whose new material was amazing. That actor turned out to be Joaquin.

Scott and I recorded and played with him for around 2 weeks, in which time we recorded on around 8 songs. (I played piano and percussion and contributed vocals) alongside Antony Langdon, (Spacehog) on main vocals.
The project was rehearsed with Wildcat Will on drums, but never ended up going to a live format, as Joaquin was called to do another movie and the momentum fizzled, Alan went back to live in retirement in Wales.
Joaquin was an experience to work with. His type of crazy comes with an enormous amount of creative flair and much more focus than people give him credit for. His songwriting (I understand in collaboration with Antony) is very tasteful and I love the songs.

Blah Blah Blahnik takes on a variety of musical genres compared with Un Ange Passe which tended to stick to just one. Why did you feel the need to mix it up on your latest offering?
I don't think that is the case at all. The "Un Ange Passe" EP is more diverse by far than BBB.

It varies from complete electronica to very organic and "real" instruments.
Compare "Lullabies" to "Wetter" from the UAP ep, and I think you will see the massive gulf!
I think BBB is much more homogenous comparatively.
I deliberately made the second EP sound "raw" and "rock" to illustrate that I could be more consistent in style than the first one.
I have a completely electronic EP in the pipeline as well as a totally live recorded one as well as the finished album....
Most of the artists I love have always managed to straddle different genres.

What is it about writing music that makes you want to keep doing it, and when did you first decide this was the career path for you?
I love music, and have been singing professionally since I was 5 years old.

I tried to quit, and worked in TV for a while. Much much more money, but I realised that I was not happy with the results psychologically, and I care very little for money per se.
I live for the audience. I love the fact that in the context of one song, you can reach people on both an emotional and physical level at once.
It is scientifically postulated that any concept can be articulated and memorised much more easily when set to music. The feeling when I have finished a song beats anything except the excitement that comes across peoples' faces when you play something you know has connected on a deep level with them.....

Where do you take inspiration from when writing your music and lyrics?
Everything and everywhere. My life. My music is my diary and my secret lovers and my open book and my own soul laid out for everyone to experience and interpret and for me to remember and reappraise on each subsequent listen.

A song that has a genuine resonance with me will always have a much more important life than any other song.
If it means something to me, it means something to people that are listening. One important lesson I had to learn!

'Show Me Your Soul' is a great track. How and where did that begin life?
Thank you! Actually that song has had a very long and troubled birth. My friend, Antony Green is an artist in life and paint.

He recently met Imelda Marcos, the ex premiere of the Phillippines.
She is very famous for two things: shoes and mismanagement of the Phillippines.
Antony is preparing an exhibition of shoe paintings with her permission. He asked me to write the soundtrack to the exhibition and specifically a song that would accompany the event as a multimedia portion of the press campaign.
Subsequently, I read a lot about Imelda; her thoughts and writing. I chose to focus on her intentions as a great figurehead who was misinterpreted by (or misinterpreted) the people she was representing.
She has a very interesting and very thoughtful soul that could be said to be lost in the shuffle in the wake of her deposition from the ruling position. Understand that she was one of the most powerful people in the world for a long time, and an icon of feminine power for so many worldwide.
The song, I wrote in one Los Angeles night in november last year, and finished it the next day.

How do you feel about the music industry in general at the moment? Are you excited or anxious for its current state and future?
I am excited, as it enables people like me (with no label support and no desire to be creatively straitjacketed by other peoples' opinion on what will "sell" ) to make music instinctively without the pigeonholes that ruin the inspiration that make it desirable in the first place.

What's new for you at the moment, and what does the future hold?
New for me is the pleasure of producing for other people, as my debut was very well received and I am being approached all the time to work with other artists to arrange, record and produce their songs.

I also put a new band together recently, and we have a residency at the R Bar in Koreatown, Los Angeles so we can build the live show to the best of our ability......
The future is today. One of my new songs, and a lyric that I love : "If tomorrow's what you want, then today is what you need. The future's always sliding out of reach......."
I wish to carry on doing what I enjoy - making music and making love.

Finally, can you tell us a secret?
The secret is that everything you could ever want or be is within you.

Each moment contains the fabric of every moment that is or ever was.
Realise that, and nothing will ever challenge you again.

A really wonderful piece of philosophy to round-off a great interview. I hope you enjoyed it :)