Friday, 31 October 2008

A Call To Arms: Vote.

Subscribers, readers and music fans - please take a minute of your time to vote for our humble blog to win the Best Blog award at Record Of The Day.

Unfortunately, we aren't nominated this year but that doesn't matter.

Go to the bottom of the page for the 'Best Blog' category, and then to the 'Other' input box and enter our URL and if you like, you can even write a few words about us.

I don't expect much to come of it but it would be nice to mix it with the 'big boys/girls'. My thoughts were the same for the BT Digital Awards and we ended up 63rd out of the top 100 and beating some far more established blogs.

Vote for Illegal Tender - Record Of The Day

Thank you.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Hype: Math And Science, History and Gym

A couple of days ago, I stumbled upon a band that not only brightened my day but could possibly be one of my favourite discoveries of the year.

HEXA of Manhattan are Danny, Davis, Preeya, Maria and Joe, a band who specialise in short, energetic and nostalgic pop ditties about first tattoos, first loves and first break-ups.

When I listen to their new recordings, my mind drifts off to a time when The Four Seasons were just starting out, kids went to diners after school and the Flux Capacitor was just a glint in Dr. Emmet Brown's eye.

With more than twenty of said new recordings mixed by Evan Mast aka E*vax of Ratatat (whom the band have toured with), I think they could be absolutely huge.

Plans are in place for a four track single before Christmas and a tour of the UK in February.

HEXA - Classes (YSI)
HEXA - Well, Well, Well (YSI)

Hits The Spot: A Little Bit Of Lovin'

St. Albans' finest Friendly Fires have recorded their take on one of my songs of 2008 in Lykke Li's prodigious ode Little Bit as a precursor to supporting the Swedish songstress on her US tour.

Just from the first listen, this really blew me away.

Friendly Fires - Little Bit (Lykke Li Cover) (YSI) courtesy of Gorilla Vs. Bear.

If I'm honest, it's taken me a little while to warm to their self-titled debut. Probably due to listening to their singles and demos too many times and having to get over the fact that Your Love wasn't on it. But my love for them was hastily re-ignited by this incredible performance on Later...

Friendly Fires - Paris (Live) @ Later... with Jools Holland

Buy Little Bit @ Moshi Moshi
Buy Friendly Fires @ and @ Beggars if you're American.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Plugs: We Have Lift-Off

We fist blogged about the London/Manchester trio back in June, since then; we've seen We Have Band go from strength to strength.

First off came the news that Hear It In The Cans was to feature on the institution that is Kitsuné's Maison 6 and almost simultaneously came the news that taste-makers 50 Bones were to release their debut single Oh!.

Oh! is to be released on 24th of November with remixes from Yo! Majesty, The Shoes, Stop Making Me and Gentlemen Drivers... we're excited, they're excited, everyone is excited.

Here's a remix from the enigmatic Micachu, whom I was impressed with when I managed to catch her live with her band The Shapes supporting Lykke Li at The Plug.

We Have Band - Oh! (Micachu Remix) (YSI)

Friday, 24 October 2008

Hits The Spot: Roy G and the Biv Rock Well

To celebrate Halloween being just around the corner, long-time blog favourites Roy G and the Biv have covered Rockwell's one hit wonder Somebody's Watching Me.

The chorus on the original was sung by a then height-of-his-career Michael Jackson and his brother Jermaine (of whom Rockwell's sister was married to at the time).

I'm of the school of thought that anything MJ should not be touched (musical or otherwise), with Fall Out Boy's cover of Beat It! as a prime example of the reasons why, but these guys pull it off extremely well.

Check it out...

Roy G and the Biv - Somebody's Watching Me (Rockwell Cover) (YSI)

Thursday, 23 October 2008

In Motion: Never Again

The Big Pink - Too Young To Love

Not only do I love this song (as previously mentioned), I love this video.

Brilliantly shot and edited, it's The Big Pink's debut single, which will be released
with previously posted Crystal Visions as the b-side through House Anxiety.

They'll also be supporting TV On The Radio next month on their UK tour.

Hype: Don't Put Me On Hold Bitch!

I was put on hold for twenty-five minutes yesterday by Vodafone - not such a hot line... but nevermind about that, I'll get to the point.

Hotline are Nottingham-born duo Ronika and Laurence, carving their own slice of acid tinged disco pop.

Taking influence from 80's pop artists such as early Madonna and Kylie as well as early Detroit techno artists such as Juan Atkins and Kevin Saunderson, the duo have added their own flavour to the mix and created a contemporary take on the music that inspired them to start creating their own.

Despite having worked together for only three months, there has already been label interest and I've been informed that live and DJ dates are on their way!

Hotline - Bricolage (Instrumental) (Zshare)

And here's a sweet little remix for your ears...

Hercules and Love Affair - Blind (Hotline Remix) (Zshare)

Monday, 20 October 2008

Free The Mind

There's nothing better than when one of your favourite bands remixes another of your favourite bands and nails it.

That's what happened when Madeline Davy and ex-Chk Chk Chk member John Pugh's
Free Blood remixed Telepathe's track Bells.

Here it is courtesy of The Fader.

Telepathe - Bells (Free Blood Remix) (Zshare)
Telepathe's Myspace

Bare Grillz

I have a bit of a soft spot for really rough but raw demos - no over-production, now new bits that don't sound as good as the originals but the songs at their purest form. It's this soft spot that allowed me to get my head around Teeth!!!.

Considering their songs so far comprise of a pretty bare drum-kit and a knackered £70 Pentium 3 IBM ThinkPad with a cracked screen bought from eBay; it produces a pretty huge sound.

Veronica (vox) and Simon (Keys/Electronics) were previously in a band called Little Paper Squares and soon drafted in another Simon to play drums and thus, Teeth!!! were born.

The thing that fascinates me about them is the fact that they are using pretty basic equipment and have only so far recorded pretty grainy demos, but are producing such a textured and gripping sound. Once past the poor quality recordings, I get the same vibe from listening to them as I would if I were listening to some really bass-heavy (good) house music.

With a five-track cassette release through stop scratching (of whom I could do a whole blog on their brilliance) in the near future, Teeth!!! are about to hit the studio and I can't wait to see what they come up with.

Please remember that all of the below are live recordings. The sound quality is poor but I can sense some magic there so check them out. If you're in London next month, I recommend you get to Catch and see their only UK show before they head over to LA in Januaury to play a string of dates including the now near-legendary The Smell.

Teeth!!! - Live Jamz (Zshare)
Teeth!!! - Dead Boys (Live) (Zshare)
Teeth!!! - Pill Program (Live) (Zshare)
TEETH Myspace

Monday, 13 October 2008

Ooh! You So Nasty!

Website in the guise of a 13yr old girl's fan site: CHECK
American: CHECK
Mind-blowingly brilliant: CHECK
Up-coming release on Merok: CHECK

The above information points to one thing... Teengirl Fantasy are about to take over your life.

Logan Takahashi and Nick Weiss have created a sound that transcends genre and theme, it's sensory overload, it's dilated pupils, its... a musical acid trip.

I feel like I could go into some Ewan McGregor/Trainspotting monologue just contemplating it, only it wouldn't end "choose life."; it would end "choose Teengirl Fantasy".

These guys are on to something special, very special. Keep your ears peeled for their upcoming release on Merok in the next few months.

Teengirl Fantasy - Customize It (Zshare)
Teengirl Fantasy - Portofino (Zshare)
Teengirl Fantasy Myspace

Friday, 10 October 2008

Interview: Primary 1

This post was initially deleted by the kind people at Blogger because apparently I was breaching copyright. This is bullshit as I have explicit permission to post the tracks but for fear of them deleting this blog; I will not be re-posting the mp3s. Apologies.

I know there was meant to be a bit of a blog-black-out but I caught up with Primary 1's Joe Flory earlier, here's how it went down...

IT: So, all has been quiet on the Western Front lately, what have you been up to?
P1: Well, just finishing my record really!

IT: Who's producing it?
P1: Its been me and another Joe - Joe Hirst, we've done about 90% together. Joe has engineered lots of albums, and that was really the expertise i needed to help me get everything sounding proper. I also did a song with this guy called John Hill in New York. Which turned out great so... it's gonna be good!

IT:: You've collaborated quite a lot in the past year with The Shoes and Claire Maguire amongst others, are there any new collaborations in the pipeline?
P1: I'm not sure really, whatever comes along!

Primary 1 - Hold Me Down (Live @ Durrr)

IT: Hold Me Down was one of my songs of 2007, what's the story behind it?
P1: Cheers! I made the original about 5-6 years ago, and it just hung around for ages until I finally found someone to release it. It was the first proper song I wrote, so I'm glad it got released at some point!

IT: What music are you into at the moment?
P1: I'm not listening to much at the moment, since I've been so stuck up my own music, but there's a song on Metronomy's album called 'On Dancefloors' which is my favourite song in a long time.

IT: Who's impressed you in a live context?
P1: Best live act I've ever seen are Kamerakino, I couldn't tell you why, they're just like my perfect band. I walked into a pub and they were playing, I'd never heard of them or any of their music before, but it was incredible. You just gotta see them to understand/hate them. Their records don't compare to live though.

IT: Are there any more plans for Karaoke Joe?
P1: Yeah! I'm looking into it!

IT: I know you've been having a bit of trouble with the live setup/line-up, are all those things sorted now? Any live dates coming up?
P1: Basically I wanted to get the album done and start representing the album rather than whatever I could at the time. So in the next few months I'll be back on the road!

Primary 1 Myspace

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Down Where I Fall There Only Is Pain

Although I read all emails sent to us, it's rare that any will take my interest. One exception is Road To Where? by Leeds based The 39Steps.

As soon as I heard producer Kato's minimal, melancholic beats and the simple but somber vocal from Laura Fowles, it instantly grabbed me and took me down the rabbit hole.

Debut album Coming Clean is scheduled for release through Bad Sneakers early next year, and I for one am interested to see where it goes.

The 39Steps - Road To Where? (Zshare)
The 39Steps Website
The 39Steps Myspace