Wednesday 26 May 2010

Vice's shoot with Kern + The Creators Project talk to Radical Friend

Ok, so I'm writing a bit of a photography based blog, makes a change from just writing about music!

Earlier this month, Richard Kern came to London for casting for his lastest shoot and ended up photographing Akiko Mastuarya from The Big Pink, Comanechi,Pre and Sperm Javelin and Deborah, a bi-sexual nurse from Bristol with very precise pornographic tastes. Here's the result of the casting and photoshoots, look out for the little cameo from Karley Sciortino (the American one), AKA, slutever , I really like her blogs :

Radical Friend are the duo accountable for all of the epic Yeasayer videos that have been released this year. Here, they explain their ideas behind the videos:


Monday 24 May 2010

I Love Peaches

When I was younger (maybe 14ish?) and I first heard the music of Peaches, I enjoyed it not only because I thought it was utterly brilliant, evolutionary and dangerously honest but because I knew that it was something that would be disapproved by the people of authority around me. I certainly knew that Peaches was special, even at that age and I still do. She pushes boundaries with her electro-punk mélange, her extreme, mesmerising live shows and unique spirit. I'm hoping to go to Lovebox festival this summer (providing I manage to get a press pass as I can't afford a ticket) and she's playing. Her live show is something I'd love to see, so fingers crossed...

Here's an interview that The Creators Project did with her, it's really good, watch it:

Katie x

I forgot to post this last week...

It's the review I did for with drums and colour

Ellie Goulding Pictures, Images and Photos

Guns and Horses is the 3rd single to come from Ellie’s début album ‘Lights’ and is the opening track. The texture starts off relatively thin with just Ellie, her guitar and a repetitive drum loop. I like this, it reminds her audience of her acoustic roots, as after all, before she met producer, Starsmith, not long ago, her music was just her and her guitar. Ellie and her acoustic guitar are the origin of many of the songs on her album and ‘Guns and Horses’ is one of them.

And then comes the synth. Not overly powerful, just enough to enhance the mood and create an atmosphere of intensity, complimenting the mysterious lyrics that Ellie sings. “Let’s join forces; we’ve got our guns and horses. I know you’ve been burnt but another fire is a lesson learnt.” What does Ellie actually mean by these lyrics? Is this song a cavalry themed song, a song about arson or a love story? Ellie is deliciously shadowy concerning the topic of this song through her lyrics, in fact, admiringly so.

As the song continues Starsmith’s production unfolds, bridges and choruses become bigger. This track is very cleverly produced, from the layered electric violin sounds to the fast flowing drum loops and handclaps. Ellie’s guitar also builds, as do her compassionate lyrics of “I’d do it all for you.” The repetition adds fervour and zeal and makes the listener really believe the words that she sings. Her lyrics are honest, yet not explicit.

This song, as a concept, contains flecks of genius; combining acoustic music with dance music to create a hazy, yet, sophisticated, polished pop song. Ellie and Starsmith have done phenomenally well with this song, their work flattering constantly each other.


Katie x

Tuesday 18 May 2010

New Stuff that I love...

The new Mystery Jets single:

Avi Buffalo

They are a lovely, young, American band, some of them are still at school...

The new M.I.A single- XXXO

I adore this, I don't care that it's more mainstream pop than anything she's ever done before. I'm so glad she's back. Rusko's on the production, hasn't he done a mighty fine job?

Katie x


Vice have teamed up with Intel Computers (and have started 'The Creators Project') which has involved making various documentaries. I rather like this Diplo one as I'm a fan of his work:

Find out more about this project here

Facebook :

Twitter :



Monday 17 May 2010

Babeshadow Interview


Babeshadow are a band that I’ve loved since about December of last year now. You always know that a bands special if you can remember where you were the first time you heard them. I remember when I first heard Babeshadow I was walking to the library wearing a white fur coat and the ridiculous biker boots that I almost fell over in about ten times during the course of my journey because of the ice.

I seem to have a tendency of interviewing bands in unusual places, a few months ago I interviewed Steven Ansell from Blood Red Shoes in a monochrome shower and now I’m interviewing Tom and Dave from Babeshadow in a vacant disabled lift in Wolverhampton Civic Hall, after the rude security lady in her suit refused to let me go into the dressing room (in case I did a Mark Chapman and shot Florence?). It is here that we cover the topics of Girls Allowed naked, Joe Jackson as a bald guitarist and the band’s desire to move into the Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s ‘Tunnel of Love’ with their caterer. Here's the conversation I had with them...

K: Introduce yourselves
T: I’m Tom Cawte and I play guitar, sing and play keyboards
D: I’m David Thornley and I play guitar and sing...And play keyboards

K: Is the name ‘Babeshadow’ or ’Babe Shadow?’ I’ve seen it written as both.

T: Well, it’s a bit of both at the moment because everyone thinks it’s something different.
K: I was introduced to you as Babe Shadow when I downloaded your demo of Sea Serpents in December from Jamilafuckingdance’s blog, it has the bit on it at the beginning where you’re talking about William Hill
D: Ha, yes

K: How did you come up with the name Babeshadow?

D: We saw a band playing in Shoreditch once who were called Babe Shadow years ago and we thought it was a good name.

K: How did you get involved with LuvLuvLuv records?

T: Hannah, one of the founders of LuvLuvLuv (there’s Hannah and Mairead), heard about us from two different online bloggers in one day so she thought, ‘oh they must be good’ and she came to one of our shows but we know Mairead through other people we know.

K: How long have you been together?

T: Well as a full band, just over half a year, we’ve been together since about October of last year.
K: When did you realise that you could start a band?
T: Well, us two have been playing together forever and we’ve always had whatever band we could gather up and now, we have our current line-up. It’s always changing, we’ll probably quit like next week!
K: Oh no! Don’t say that!
D: But then reform again with the same members!

K: How was the 6music session the other day? Did you enjoy it?

T: That was good, that was at Maida Vale. I snapped a string on the first song but it was still good. It was nice having a live audience there too.
D: The weirdest thing was that we’d been watching the ‘Adam and Joe Show ‘all day and at the venue as the light went out, Adam and Joe did the ‘no smoking announcements.’ It was like Adam and Joe were introducing us to the stage.
K: You’re getting a lot support from 6music, Lauren Laverne played you the other day on her show and my mum was listening and said that she said that she liked you.
T: Yeah, we got played on radio 1 the other day too.
(They were played by Huw Stephen’s on his BBC introducing show)
T: Yeah, when was the Lauren Laverne show?
K: Last week sometime, Monday I think.
D: Ah, well, we’re clearly widening our audience now; we’ve got the 40+ crowd. We fancy Lauren Laverne as well.

K: Are you enjoying being on tour with Florence and The Drums?

T: Yeah, it great. We’ve just spent 3 days in Blackpool and we didn’t know what to do so we went to the theme park and that was fun.
T: Yeah, we wouldn’t want to be at home right now, we’d just be paying rent for now reason when we could be on tour.
K: That sounds fun, but what are you going to do here? There’s nothing here!
T: We’ll probably just drink and then not get up in the morning and then meet some Wolverhampton people.
K: What’s the two nights in the same city thing like? Do you get bored?
D: Easy
T: Amazing because it’s very helpful as it means that we don’t have to leave at night so now we can just sit and relax.

K: Which musicians do you find most inspiring?

T: Buddy Holly
D: And then there’s your slightly embarrassing one
T: Oh yeah, Madonna, I really like Madonna.
D: And Girls Aloud are great naked.
T: Apparently
D: Apparently
T: and there’s Joe Jackson as well, he’s good. *sing’s Joe Jackson’s ‘Don’t you know that it’s different for girls’ *
D: I mean he’s bald, it’s always difficult for bald guitarists but he does it pretty well.
T: Buddy Holly is probably our main influence at the moment but if they all started a band together, “oh my!” We often just listen to the same record about 50 times until we’re sick of it. I just listened to the Beatles for a year and then I moved onto someone else

K: Do you like The Drums?

D: Yeah, I’ve heard mixed reviews about them but I really like them, I like their confidence.

K: Who’s your favourite band at the moment?

D: Maybe it’s The Drums or Is Tropical
K: Yeah, I’d say mine are probably you or ‘Yuck’, have you heard of them?
D: No, I haven’t.
K: They’re really good; they’re like half of Cajun Dance Party. I also like Villagers and Lissie.
D: I don’t know those either, I’ll have to check them out

K: Any future releases?

D: Yeah, we have an EP out at the moment; you can buy it on iTunes now.
K: Which songs are featured on it?
T: ‘Sea Serpents’,’ Darling’,’ Heart’ and ‘For Me’, and then we’re going to be releasing an actual 10” limited edition vinyl and then a 7” after that, so fix your needle!
(I have already told them the story of my broken record player needle.)

K: What are your views on illegal downloading?

T: I think it’s great, I think that it was bound to happen to there’s no point in trying to control it.
D: I’ve done it and I don’t feel bad about it
T: I think that the thing is, now, everyone has got an iPod with iTunes on it and everyone should download it through that and if you don’t want to download a crappy quality one from the internet then you can buy it off iTunes. It’s not as bad as it was at one point, iTunes sales in the past year have gone up by 100%.
D: Yeah, don’t do it, but do it!
T: Vinyl’s are coming back anyway, everyone I know has vinyl records.
D: Yeah, I think iTunes is dated now; vinyls are the new thing

K: Are you playing any festivals this summer?

T: Yeah, we’re playing: Glastonbury, we’re supposed to be doing Reading and Leeds and we’re doing 1234 festival in London and maybe The Secret Garden Party, it’s all in the email process at the moment.

K: Any aspirations for the future?

T: To really, really, really sell out.
D: The caterers that we have on this tour, I just want them to live in my house. And where we were yesterday at the Pleasure beach, we went into the Tunnel of Love which was great; I’d like to live there.
T: So, basically, we want to move into the Tunnel of Love with our caterers.

I then explain that the interview is over and Dave requests a bonus question, I asked him what his favourite Drums song was and he reply’s with ‘Let’s go Surfing’, the song that they are currently playing downstairs, onstage. I tell them mine’s ‘I Feel Stupid’, a less obvious choice, even though it was a single from their ‘Summertime’ EP. Babeshadow’s ‘Sea Serpents’ EP is out now on iTunes.

An interview with Darwin Deez

darwin_deez_cover Pictures, Images and Photos

It’s a rainy Friday evening in Stoke when I interview Darwin Deez, real name Darwin Smith, in a packed out dressing room at The Sugarmill. I am surrounded by talented musicians, there are guitars everywhere, I nearly sit on one, partially due to the triple tequila and coke I had before hand.

Darwin and his band have been on the current NME Tour with headliner’s ‘Hurts’ and Manc/cockney, electro pop boys ‘Everything Everything.’ He tells me that he’s having a great time and is enjoying being in Britain. He also tells me that the latter band is definitely his favourite on the tour as they’re “really sweet guys.”
We then move on to one of the things that one can only assume he gets asked about a lot: the hair! He tells me that his look is from “not washing it with shampoo, always just washing it with water and then letting it drip dry.” This then moves onto him talking about his ancestry, something which I found quite surprising. “The curls are because I’m half black, my dad’s black. That’s why I can dance.” And dance he can, as he later demonstrates onstage in between each song.

When I ask him about how he’s finding the UK he tells me that the reason that he likes it is because “people really seem to like my music here which is nice” and that despite today’s miserable weather, “the weather’s been good for all of the other dates, even up in Scotland it was nice.” He says that his music’s definitely been better accepted here than in America and that he’s very pleased about this as “a lot of time, thoughts and feelings went into the album.”
On the topic of the album, I ask him which song he enjoys performing most on the album, his reply being, perhaps the most obvious reply; Radar Detector.
“I really like to see the crowd dancing and singing along to my lyrics so I’d have to say ‘Radar Detector’ because it’s the one that everybody knows and goes crazy to.” “I really enjoy touring but New York is a good place to go back to after touring.”

The conversation then shifts to Darwin’s personal music taste, a question which I have been pondering for a while now: what does Darwin Deez, an incredibly unique artist actually listen to?
“I don’t have an iPod. I don’t really actually listen to much that much. However, I did see Mystery Jets play at a festival the other day and now I’m in love with their song ‘Two Doors Down’, have you heard it?”
K: Yeah, it’s a good song, their new one’s good too, it’s called ‘Flash a Hungry Smile’, did you hear that one?
D: Yes, I think I did, it was good. They were good live. They were nice guys as well.

As we are talking, Jeremy from ‘Everything Everything’ enters the dressing room and hands us bottles of cold beer and we talk of what a charming young man he is. Deez is definitely particularly fond of Everything Everything, I later witness him getting his groove on during their set. Darwin Deez dancing is certainly something that one must see at some point during their lifetime, it’s a visual phenomenon, who would have expected such moves to come from him? He tells me that his favourite artists at the moment are Mystery Jets , Everything Everything and Jai Paul.

I slip in the random question; goodness knows where it came from of ‘What’s your favourite drink?’ I wrongly expect him to name a bizarre alcoholic cocktail; instead Darwin introduces me to a healthy, mushroom based tea drink. “It’s called Kombucha, it absorbs sugar in the body, and it’s really good for you. I don’t think you can get it here yet which is a shame because you should try it. “

On the topic of his recent, newly inherited title that the press have donned him of ‘the Michael Jackson of indie rock’ he tells me that “it feels amazing, I really loved Michael Jackson.” “ I think that people used to say some not very nice things about him towards the end of his life which I don’t think were very fair. I’m not denying that he had sleepovers with young boys but I don’t see that there’s anything wrong with that. I mean sure, it’s weird but I don’t think he did anything untoward with those boys. They used to do that in Greece anyway, have you heard about that?”
K: No, what happened in Greece?
D: “Old men used to be gay and sleep with young boys. If I wasn’t American and I was Greek I would have been gay and done that but I’m American, so I’m straight. I think that what they doing was more of an urgent expression than anything paedophilic, I believe that artist’s get the same kind of urgent rush, I do when I’m writing songs.”

We then wrap up the interview and make plans in go to some bars in town later where Darwin can whip out some of his formidable dance routines. This unfortunately does not happen as the band decides that they’re too tired after their set. Their set, of course being incredibly entertaining, let’s just say that there was a dance routine to Beyoncé’s ‘Single Ladies’ half way through!

Sunday 16 May 2010

Literally, getting emotional just watching this video

I will be such an emotional wreck when I see them at Reading Festival in August,
religious x

Tuesday 11 May 2010

Foals- Total Life Forever

So, it’s finally here, the second offering from Foals, and by God, have they grown up! Not only have they significantly developed musically but lyrically too, they are far from the repetitive riffs and nonsensical lyrics of their debut delivery.
The dance tones remain and are mixed with groovy bass lines (for example, in the song, ‘Black Gold’) and experimental instrumentation. The fact that they have been more experimental with this album is evident, as tracks range from 48 seconds to the 7 minute mark (such as Spanish Sahara, their debut single from the album). However, unlike some of their musical peers, you certainly don’t begin to question whether they’ve been overindulgent, like the controversial second MGMT album for example. The Britpop influence is still evident and there are still catchy hooks like there was in their debut.

Foals have come back lyrically stronger, yet they still seem inseparable from the device of repetition, but it seems to work more in their favour. The repetition of the lyric “I’m the ghost in the back of your head” captures the haunting ambience of the song ‘Spanish Sahara’ and the rich pop chorus of their current single ‘The Orient’ creates a platform for them into the more commercial airwaves. The latter, fitting in with the ‘world’ theme that the album appears to possess, both rhythmically and lyrically with its Balearic drum beats and location references.

The lyrics “The future is not what it used to be” from their song ‘Black Gold’ suggests growth and realisation, these both are apparent. It seems that the band have realised perhaps that their songs don’t always have to be fast all of the time, tempos can be experimented with and varying tempo can make an album more interesting and exciting. This album is filled with enchanting dramatic breakdowns, pure musical talent and enough bizarre computer generated sounds than you can shake a stick at. This is a purely spellbinding album that will really excite the listener’s imagination.


Katie x

Wednesday 5 May 2010

If you vote for Lib Dems tomorrow...

then this adorable ginger nerd could be the youngest politician ever to enter the House of Commons. Towards the end of this vid you get the impression that he may well be the inspiration behind M.I.A's new video (see a few blogs down). Yet another reason why you should vote for Lib Dems tomorrow! Also, does anyone know why 'Janis' finds his name so funny?- "Everytime I forget his name, he says "It's Alan, Janis" *laugh's hysterically*

Katie x

Tuesday 4 May 2010

A brief introduction to PARTY HORSE


On Tuesday evening I was introduced to Party Horse, when they supported Chew Lips at the Sugarmill in Stoke and what a pleasure it was. It was there that this band proved that they are not just another synth-pop duo but crafters of simple, classic pop music. Some of their lyrics may seem a little cheesy on the surface but they carry them off with successful grace. DK’s rich vocals are complimented by Ursula’s cool Dutch voice and the guitar and synthesizer gel well together. Not only is their music great but their live show is captivating, their show involves dancing and sparklers and it hints promise at the bands potential.

Sunday 2 May 2010

Chew Lips Interview

I’m sat on a cracked, brown, leather sofa in The Sugarmill dressing room with Tigs and James from Chew Lips; it is here that we discuss, SXSW, house parties, politics, Patti Smith and the importance of stage image. It’s not the first time that they’ve been in Stoke as this art electronic pop trio came here on the Delphic tour in March.

K: In March you toured with Delphic, how was that? Did you enjoy it?

T: I t was good, but we missed the last couple of gigs because we off to SXSW
K: Oh yeah, how was that?
T: Yeah, that was really good, you just walk down the main street and there’s a really great atmosphere and everyone’s really excited
J: Yeah, everyone was really friendly and you get given free beer wherever you go. It’s one of the best things we’ve ever done
K: Did you make friends with lots of other new bands when you were there?
T: Yeah, we need, all the bands were really nice

K: What bought you back to Stoke after the Delphic tour?

T: Were you here that night?
K: Yeah, it was good
J: Yeah, we really enjoyed it last time, it was really full and the crowd were good
T: But it’s not gonna be like Delphic, I’m pretty sure.
K: Yeah, that show was sold out
T: Yeah, that was mad
J: People were crowd surfing
T: Were they?
J: Well, not crowd surfing, just jumping up on to people’s shoulders and landing on their heads
K: Yeah, there was a lot of unsuccessful crowd surfing
T: But, yeah, you have to just keep going back to the same places until more and more people hear your music before you can decide where you tour.

K: How did you meet?

J: We met in South East London and just started playing together
T: Same old, same old really. We just through people we both knew
J: And then we started writing songs and playing gigs in small venues in London
K: Wasn’t your first gig in a kitchen on a washing machine?
T: Yeah, it’s quite well heard of.
J: Someone was having a house party and we thought we’d go because we love house parties at other people’s houses because it means that you don’t have to clear up
T: People decided that they wanted some live music there and we agreed to play, so now that person can say that we played our first ever gig there, I think that particular person loves that fact.
T: We hadn’t written any song at that point but then we went into the studio and wrote some songs.

K: Name 5 things/people that you are most inspired by when making music

T: ACID JAZZ * laughs* No, I think I personally would have to say Patti Smith
K: Ah, have you read her autobiography? It’s amazing; it took me two days to read because I was so addicted to it!
T: No, I’ll have to read it then because I do quite like her but I wouldn’t say that musically I’m influenced by her at all but she made me want to become a musician because before that I was just writing poetry before that before I started turning it into music.
K: Yeah, well that’s how she started too
T: Exactly, it was really the idea of poetry and music together that was a bit of a revelation to me and what made me want to write music.
T: Ok, who do we share? We share David Bowie don’t we?
J: Yeah, we share David Bowie.
T: Ok, who else? I’d have said Prince. We haven’t really said anything other than musicians; we haven’t said anything like ‘the sky’ or ‘the faces of children’ or ‘the rain on the window.’
J: What about New York?
T: Oh yeah, we went to New York a few weeks ago, we wrote some songs there, it was amazing.

K: If you could play with any band in the world, who would it be?

T: Well, I don’t want to say anyone too amazing because they’ll just make us look shit, compared to them, like I love Prince but everyone would think that we’re rubbish compared to him. We’re enjoying playing with the support band, Party Horse, there in sound check now, can you hear them? They’re fucking incredible!
J: Yeah, what about the Beach Boys as well?
T: Yeah, that’d be good

K: Describe a Chew Lips live show to someone that’s never seen you play before

T: It’s involves a lot of lighting and playing, we’re a proper band. I think our live show is a lot more ‘rocky’ than the record. It’s entertaining and we’ve got the Chew Lips sign behind us.

K: What’s your favourite track of your album?

J: Mine is ‘Eight’, the first song off the album
T: Really?
J: Yeah, I really like it
T: It’s probably my least favourite track
J: Well there, you go
T: No, it’s because you like things that are clever and I like the big songs like ‘Two years’ and ‘Too much talking.’

K: It’s the general election next week, who’re you backing?

T: I’m backing Clegg because he’s quite good looking I think, is that weird?
K: Ermm, a bit
T: Yeah, I just think that there’s something quite kind about his face, I feel like I can trust him where as I can’t trust the other two as far I can throw them. That’s the reason that I’m backing Clegg, I just hate the other two. I think that that little creep for the conservatives, David Cameron is just Satan’s little helper really.
J: The Lib Dems definitely have good ideas but they’re not really that strong
T: But they’ve never had a better chance than they have now.
J: What about the Green Party?
T: The Green Party? I don’t know, do they even do general elections and stuff or just local elections?
J: Yeah
T: But I wouldn’t know who the head of the green party is, do you?
J: No
T: Exactly, so I don’t know either Green Party or Lib Dems

K: Why did you name the album ‘Unicorn’?

T: Because it’s a rare mythical creature
J: And it’s a strong, one word title
T: Yeah, we wanted to call the album ‘Unicron’ because we wrote an electro pop album but then we googled it and we found out that it’s a really obscure character from ‘Transformers’ and we thought it would attract the wrong kind of geeks.

K: Are you looking forward to tonight’s show?

T: Yeah, of course, we look forward to every show
K: What are you all wearing?
T: Well that’s a surprise! What did I wear last time in Stoke?
K: You wore lots of glitter; I think you may have worn some glittery trousers.
T: Ah, glitter’s good, glitter’s important, it’s my onstage vibe.

K: Do you think image on stage is important?

Yeah, I do. I think it’s important that as a performer I feel the difference between sitting around here in the dressing room to the way I feel onstage and I think that having an onstage look is important for people to recognize that and to look like a band.
J: Yeah, the other day you just looked at that picture of a band and said “I’m sorry but the way they look would not make to me want to buy their music.”
T: Yeah but that’s because they were like 40 as well.

K: If you had to sum up Chew Lips in three words, what would they be?

J: Electronic future pop
T: I prefer ‘future’, ‘classic’ ‘pop’

chew lips Pictures, Images and Photos