Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Bon Jovi: Youtube Salutes You!

There's a million Bon Jovi covers on Youtube; some bands, some soloists, and the rest just drunken Prayer karaoke. A lot aren't great, but some really are, I've picked out a couple of my favourites to share which are all soloists with accompaniments; you're a lot more exposed which is, I feel, much better. And of course, I wasn't going to miss the chance for a shameless plug so I've stuck mine on at the end ;)

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Mudslideslim - New Tracks

Check out the new tracks available at Mudslideslim's Myspace page now! Featured are Memory and Nightmare; Memory is a moody-acoustic driven affair, sombre yet passionate with a definitive progressive feel as the track grows and grows. It dips in all the right places when it reaches a peak, and I completely get the Radiohead and Tom Waits influences.

Nightmare is thick in texture with chunky acoustic guitar but still reflects the sombre atmosphere of Memory. I love the vocal harmonies here, in fact overall the track in general I really like; the vocal melodies really compliment the simple yet effective chord progression and the song has an almost haunting-Johnny Cash inspired feel. I'd love to experience this live with a band, perhaps some cello and more harmonies and even a harmonica to really pack the final punch.

These tracks are well worth a listen, and the album is out now. For more info, check out his Reverb Nation page and enjoy.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

(You Want To) Make A Memory - Bon Jovi cover

Here's my second attempt at uploading a Bon Jovi cover into the cyber abyss, please excuse the over-excited Budgie in the background...

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

New Artist Alert: The Spies

Both terms 'indie' and 'college rock' as ways of definining a genre hardly jump out at me as one worth much of a listen, however The Spies from Los Angeles have definitely got the sound down to a tee. Liquer from white-rimmed party cups is definitely flowing and the garage door is up, the band staring out at the teens falling about on the driveway of their suburban lives as they pound through National Pastime, an energetic track driven hard by the constant guitar riff and lyric-laden verses. I can almost see the slow-mo scenes in the video where the girls have got the hosepipe out. Anyway, I'm digressing. The music is taking me on a journey in my mind; painting a picture of what the media would have us believe downtown LA must be like. I love the bridge section as the feroicty subsides allowing some much-needed room for the vocals and guitar to breathe before it builds for one last chorus.

Also worth a listen is the short You Got Some Nerve. Slower-paced than its predecessor, the vocals here sound really cool with the underlying whistly, winding keys. It's a cool and boppy-funk kind of track in the verses before exploding into mirage of various half-time/double-time measures. It's short and sweet; perhaps a little too short, not enough seems to be explored musically in the near-three minute offering. Title-track Televolution harbours an obvious message behind a funky, chunky riff-driven backdrop and sticks well to the 'college rock' instruction on the side of the tin, whilst hinting at an older rock 'n roll feel at times. If you're a fan of this kind of music, I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

For a sample listen to the album, Televolution, check out the band's Digital Press Kit or if you prefer it the old fashioned way, head over to their Myspace page. Enjoy!

New Artist Alert: French Crops

Hailing from London, this post-punk/ska/funk outfit appeared in my inbox yesterday (not literally, that would be mental) and I wanted to share with you their infectious noise. Citing such prestigious influences that diversely range from The Specials to The Clash, this 5-piece showcase "hard hitting tunes with melodic move-your-feet guitar riffs".

A couple of tracks stuck out for me, Burden with it's dingy, progressive opening riff and rockney-heavy vocals; these guys give a flavour of The Cure/Specials/Chilis throughout with a slightly heavier edge. The Avery sounds like something straight off of the FIFA series soundtrack, with it's vocal-led melody and energetic hook; the driving semi-quavers on the hi-hats relentlessly pushing and threatening to leave everyone else behind as the lead guitar attempts to steal the limelight. This is a furiously fast track packed full to the brim. Roll of the Dice is another foot-stomper, I can't keep still listening to the rootsy-sound of new London funkpunk (you heard it here first) and am really enjoying the capability and indeed awareness displayed within their song-writing. If I could sum up our capital city in a band, I think it might be the ironically named French Crops. I see neither Parisian architecture nor fields full of vegetables ready for harvest, but the band have definitely captured the energy and bustle of London and turned it into a hard-hitting bunch of songs.

As per, check out the band's Myspace page and have a listen for yourself. And if you like what you hear, make sure you let them know!

Monday, 15 November 2010

His Name Is Tico!

Something now for not just the Bon Jovi fans, but DRUMMERS as well! Here, Tico Torres of Bon Jovi talks about the Remo heads he uses live and in the studio, and gives a mini demo at the end of the interview. For a man of very few solos and a totally underrated drummer it's quite a rare glimpse of something besides the regimented 2 and 4 of his Bon Jovi offerings.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Ellie Goulding - Your Song

Check out the video for Ellie's cover of Elton John's Your Song. It's simple but effective; the video has a real homely feel to it, and seems to show a real personal side to her, almost as if expressing how she's still human and normal since having been rocketed into fame. None of the passion is lost with her much gentler vocals, a really nice cover in all.

On the Jovi front, it's been a busy couple of weeks! I was at the cinema last night with about 20 other people to watch the New Meadowlands show; I guess there aren't many Bon Jovi fans in Southampton! It felt a bit weird clapping and singing along in a cinema, but by the end it was all good fun. A really cool show too, really showed off the band well, even though it was only ever going to be seen my diehards. The sound wasn't actually too bad in the cinema, a totally new way of watching a concert which I really enjoyed.

In the UK, Bon Jovi are the cover story for the Big Issue, priced at £1.70, with 85p going to the vendor; something I'm sure Jon is all the happier for. There's an a4 sized headshot of him inside sporting a greying beard, but of course he pulls it off.

And on the personal front, I've (Birds In Flight) got a busy next couple of weeks with gigs in Southampton that I'm of course looking forward to. We recorded last week so once it's all mixed and mastered we'll be setting up a Myspace page and I'll be able to share it with you then. For now, have a great weekend :)

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

'Bizarre' Editor slates JBJ once again

Wanted to share this with you all, I know I'm probably giving the editor what he wants by causing a fuss and should ignore people like this but it really makes me angry. In The Sun, UK newspaper today, Gordon Smart who is the editor of the entertainment page Bizarre printed this, another pointless snipe:

"Jon Bon Jovi asked me to help promote his band's new greatest hits album. I was tempted - until I saw him high-five Belle Amie [contestants] on Sunday's X Factor. It was more embarassing than One Direction's pink eye a day earlier [boy band who were made-up a little strange]. He's still Jon Nob Jovi."

In a previous edition, he printed this which I highlighted on this blog:

"Jon Bon Jovi wins a new gong - Nob of the Year. There's no physical award for this, the leather-clad gimp is not worth £12.50 for the frame. Jon Nob Jovi told the Bizarre team that his five nights at London's O2 in 2010 should always be referred to as a residency, not a five-night run. I won't be going to any of his five-night run because he is yesterday's man, his music is dull and he stole his haircut from Lassie."

It's totally pointless and childish; what annoys me is that Gordon Smart is the editor of a page where he pretentiously claims everything in new music or fashion was his idea, or he predicted certain trends would happen. In these pages where he is forever licking the boots of Z-list manufactured popstars, many in fact spawned from the X Factor, he has the audacity to slate such a fine and respectable rockstar who has been in this industry for 27 years, and has since ploughed so much time, effort and money into charity. He is deserved of his time spent in the music industry, yet doesn't sit at home counting his millions but actually gets his hands dirty, helps people in need. Gordon Smart picked on him for literally no reason, it wasn't a provoked attack, and I just basically wanted to share this with Jovination and all fans of this great band. You can disregard it or you can join with me on Twitter asking why he continues to lay into Jon like this. His tag is @goagsieman and his column is a waste of printed space, full of pretentious opinions and not nearly enough 'real music'. As someone who has already attacked him on Twitter said, is he going to be remembered in 25 years? I think not.

Bon Jovi LIVE - One Night Only

I'm still buzzing. I'm still buzzing. Still in shock and awe. Tonight I went to the ITV studios in London along with my girlfriend, as I was lucky enough to win tickets to the intimate filming of this show for ITV. It airs on Saturday night here in the UK at 10.30, and includes a tour of Jon's home and his pub along with interviewing slots. There can't have been more than 200 people in the audience, and I was within arms reach of Jon and Richie when they came down the short catwalk on the stage and did an acoustic section. This included an Elvis cover of That's Alright Mama, When We Were Beautiful (harrowingly wonderful) and Prayer acoustic, which included Jon messing up the second line and starting again. But this summed up the whole mood of the gig; it was so laid back with Jon making jokes and silly faces inbetween songs, but the band were totally on the money when performing, as you'd expect. I feel so privelaged to have been part of something so intimate and to have been so close to Jon and Richie, and I urge to watch the show live or online when it airs, because it was a great gig. When We Were Beautiful and new single What Do You Got had both never been played in the UK either so this made it extra special. When I was walking into the studio, you could hear the band sound-checking What Do You Got, and, on leaving at the end, Obie O' Brien was walking down the corridor, so I jumped at the chance to shake his hand and tell him how great the show was! The set was short, maybe 8-10 songs but it was a fantastic night and, if I'm lucky, I'll spot myself on TV on Saturday :) Just wanted to share with you such an incredible experience.

Bon Jovi's stint on the X Factor on Saturday night was cool, if a little odd. They performed Livin on a Prayer, although the contestants joined them for the choruses which turned the classic anthem into a bit of a drunken karaoke singalong, although was still good fun. Next Thursday I'll be at my local cinema along with Jovination across the globe to watch the screening of The Circle Tour show which I can't wait for; it's a great month to be a Bon Jovi fan!