Thursday 24 June 2010

Introducing Spike Jonze...

Spike Jonze is the man behind Jackass and director of the films 'Being John Malkovich', 'Adaptation' and the beautiful 'Where the Wild Things Are'. Spike Jonze is also the magical genius behind videos for Sonic Youth, The Chemical Brothers, Beastie Boys, Weezer, Björk, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs. As part of The Creators Project, VICE caught up with Spike for an exclusive insight into his world of creativity:

Pretty inspirational stuff yes?



Wednesday 23 June 2010

Things that I've fallen in love with recently:

The New Perfume Genius Album- Learning

It's one of the most beautiful things I think I've heard since I first discovered Bon Iver, yes, it's that sickeningly beautiful! I can't even believe I only found out about this band last weekend when Rebecca from Slow Club tweeted a link to the album. You can stream the album on spotify, via my playlist here.

Lost Fiction

There seems to be a new form of indie pop around. It's less energetic and more melancholic, reflective and tugs on the heart strings a little more. It's already been seen in emerging bands like Yuck, Babeshadow and more established bands like The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Bombay Bicycle Club. Check out their myspace page for more info.

Download their demo of their song 'Time' here

David Lyre's Marina and the Diamonds Cover

With his extraordinary covers that have the ability to completely change a song and showcase a songs inner meaning, this man's caught the attention of many music journalists recently. Here's why:

You can also download it for free here

Spark- Shut out the Moon (Monsieur Adi Remix)

Fresh from a tour with Marina & the Diamonds, 18 year old, East London raised singer 'Spark' releases her first ever single 'Shut out the Moon' in July on Puregroove Records. Here's the fantastic Monsieur Adi Remix, which I've had on repeat all week!

Spark - Shut Out The Moon (Monsieur Adi Remix) by Pure Groove



The Creators Project Event at Victoria House,London

On the 17th July The Creators Project is hitting London, bringing with it an array of artists, musicians, designers, panelists, filmmakers and lots of food and drink. Therefore there will be lots of things to see, hear, watch, eat and drink. And if this wasn't a good enough reason to attend, well, you'll be glad to hear that it's free! So make sure that if you don't live in London that you book yourself a hotel room/crash on a friend's floor and get yourself down there for one of the coolest and most interesting events of year! And if you live in/around London then you certainly have no excuse not to be there! It starts at 10am and finishes at 3am, live performances will come from Kele Okereke, Mark Ronson, Filthy Dukes, Trevor Jackson, Mumdance, Flats, Yuck (if you've read my previous posts, you'll know how much I love these people), and Hudson Mohawke whilst you'll also get to experience exhibitions, attend film screenings, and interact with multimedia installations from the following:

Radical Friend (see my earlier blog )

Karl Sadler

Felix’s Machines

Mos Architects

United Visual Artists

Spike Jonze

Nick Zinner (Yes, Nick from the YYY's)

Takeshi Murata

Mark Essen

Peng Lei

Ray Lei

Danny Perez and Animal Collective

ladj ly

Patrick Jean

Sun Haipeng

To find out more about these creators and their projects, and to register for tickets from Monday 28th June please click here


Monday 21 June 2010

Lissie- Catching A Tiger


Lissie seems to have been an artist that came out of nowhere. With her November 2009 release ‘Why You Runnin’ barely heard of in England, Lissie’s managed to become the word on everybody’s lips with the aid of an exceptional Gaga cover and an ITunes single of the week, entitled ‘In Sleep.’

She’s been playing many of the UK Festivals and her set at Brighton’s Great Escape Festival was not only one of her first but the one that proved her phenomenal talent to those watching. Videos of her set were up on youtube within hours, scoring thousands of hits by journalists and muso’s. The stand out of this set being her collaboration with Hereford’s finest, Ellie Goulding. Having formed a swift friendship with her, they performed a spine tingling version of Lissie’s ‘Everywhere I go’ together. This set sent alarms bells ringing in its spectators; this girl really is talented, her voice angelic yet edgily raw.

Lissie’s debut, ‘Catching A Tiger’ starts with, ‘Record Collector’ a sinister, progressive folk affair that gets increasingly intense as it goes along. “When I swore God, she spoke to me and she told me, oh yes, she told me of all the wonder that she could bring” Lissie sings as if she’s just been having a conversation with a phantom. This is followed by current single ‘When I’m Alone’, a more upbeat pop song and an honest account of her feelings.

Throughout the course of the album Lissie displays her soul to her listeners, from the urgent and naively dreamy fixation she showcases in the previous single ‘In Sleep’ to her adoration of The Mississippi River in her album closer ‘Oh Mississippi’ (co-written by Ed Harcourt), something which feels like it should be sung by a black servant in 1920’s America, or maybe that’s just me and my vast imagination. It certainly possesses gospel vibes anyway. That’s not to say her music sounds dated. In fact, her music is rather refreshing to the ear in an era where a band can consist of one man and his laptop.

Lissie exposes her feminist voice in ‘Stranger’ and offers extreme commercial potential in songs like ‘Loosen the Knot’ and ‘Cuckoo.’ I think that as soon as the rest of the world hears this album, Lissie will be repaid for her album efforts in huge ways. We get the impression that music has always been something firmly lodged in a place close to her heart as she seems to be one of those grounded, passionate American musicians (let’s not forgot she’s a competent guitarist too) that still possess a romantic imagination. In this album, Lissie blends pop music and American country folk in a blissful union, which will be heading through the airwaves of Britain very soon; Lissie will find her way off radio ‘C’ playlists and straight onto the A lists. The pop aspect makes her music radio friendly and the folk adds soul and warmth. It’s impossible not to fall in love with her honesty and charm as well as her captivating hooks. Expect big things from Lissie in the next few months.

Topshop Bandstand Picnics for The Teenage Cancer Trust

Yesterday I attended the Topshop Bandstand Picnic at Birmingham University. Playing were: Eliza Doolittle, Summer Camp (fresh from a tour with Slow Club), I Blame Coco (if you read my blog you should know a lot about her by now, I've mentioned her a lot) and Cardiff's Los Campesinos! It was a free event but the proceeds from the food, drink and competetions (raffels, sack races etc.) all went to The Teenage Cancer Trust.

It was the perfect day for it. It was hot,sunny and the end of university/school/college/exams etc... I unfortunately missed Eliza Doolittle and Summer Camp, the latter very regrettably, but I only found out about the event about 30 minutes before it started and Birmingham is an hour journey from Stoke and I then had to hop into a the first taxi I saw from the train station as well, for which I was ripped off £7 for.

T4's Mequita Oliver hosted the event and the DJ sets inbetween acoustic bandstand sets came from 'Broken Hearts' and 'Blonde Ambition,' both dj's doing an excellent job.

Coco Sumner and her band took to the bandstand at around 3 o clock. They played a beautiful acoustic set which included a divine cover of Fleetwood Mac's 'The Chain', very topical considering they're playing at Glasto next weekend. It was interesting to see what she would play, as these days, technology is involved a lot in her music, this contrasts to her earlier reggae/ska tinged sounds.

Later, came Los Campesinos! With it being an acoustic set, there was only four of them. They played even more stripped down versions of their more lo-fi songs. They played a lot of songs of their most recent album which came out at the start of this year, 'Romance is Boring' and then a couple of songs from earlier albums, including 'We are all Accelerated Readers' from their glorious début 'Hold on now, youngster!' Their set went down well, especially as there seemed to be a few young Los Campesinos! fans in the audience, rather than people that just seemed to find themselves there.

I think it's safe to say that everyone there enjoyed it, as it was the perfect thing to do on such a lovely day. I hope that The Teenage Cancer Trust host more events like this in the future.

Over and out,


Sunday 13 June 2010

M.I.A album sampler is out!

Ah, words cannot express my excitement about this! SO EXCITED about this album! I'm a massive M.I.A fan, I have been for a long time. This new album seems to have turned a couple of fans as it comes across as more mainstream than her older stuff but I think that her and producer Rusko's attempts to make the album hyperactive and exciting prove this theory wrong. M.I.A's back and she's just as strong as ever.

M.I.A. "/\/\/\Y/\" Snippets from RS on Vimeo.

Katie x

Saturday 12 June 2010

Johnny Flynn- Been Listening

Flynn Pictures, Images and Photos

Johnny Flynn is back with his new album 'Been Listening' but this time without the help of his Sussex Wit following his 2008 debut ' A Larum' which captured the hearts of music lovers. On listening to his debut, my own mother once said to me that she wants me to marry Johnny Flynn.

Opener, 'Kentucky Pill', although a brilliant track does not really sum up the entire album, though it is clearly still a folk track, here Flynn seems to shy away from the 'folk-rock' label and delves more into a 'folk-pop' reinvention. The brass instruments add bright, subtle pop vibes. A lot of brass is found on this album in comparison to Flynn's debut. The album is scattered with little pop sounding gems like this, for example 'Barnacled Warship' begins in this manner, though more Belle & Sebastian than Madonna. Violin riffs neutralising the pop and reinforcing Flynn's folk roots.

That said,there are many songs, for example, 'Lost and Found' which could have easily came from 'A Larum' with their simple folk tone and sinister lyrics. Typical Flynn lyrics include " will you put down your fiddle, young Willie, will you put down your fiddle and pray that the world has begun with the birth of the sun and its death the very same day" as found in 'Sweet William Part 2' which opens with a haunting violin riff.

Johnny Flynn has definitely been more experimental with this album, this is represented in the opening of the song 'Churlish May' with it's hip-hop style drum beat. More electric guitar is found in this album too, such is seen in the lo-fi title track with the solo riffs which come and go in waves, often complimented by violins, an odd musical combination, which undeniably works.

'The Water' features his long term friend Laura Marling, it's a slow and seemingly medieval folk type affair, with a waltz rhythm, which is reflective of Marling's follow up album which was released in March. Clearly more of a collaboration than solely a song with guest vocals.

It's obvious that Mr Flynn has been a little more experimental on this album but his signature sound is not lost as it's clearly present throughout, even on the brighter, more poppy numbers.


Tuesday 8 June 2010

The Creators Project meets Mark Ronson

With the release of his third album just around the corner, Mark Ronson talks to The Creators Project about the making of all three albums and how he became a musician and a DJ in the first place.


The Drums- The Drums

The Drums have received some very harsh criticism, which was probably produced due to the large amount of hype that surrounded them in late 2009 - early 2010. There is far too much focus on people questioning whether this hype is justifiable. For me, the truth seems to be that The Drums are a great band, they're a band which I could genuinely listen to at any time of the day, as was tested out the other day by my friend's boyfriend who decided to play 'Forever and Ever Amen' really loudly at about half past 6 in the morning the other day, just half an hour after I'd nodded off to sleep (it was a very long and heavy night) and I actually didn't mind, in fact, I enjoyed it!

The Drums were definitely worth getting excited about. The long awaited album finally dropped this week and it's brilliant. Some people say that they try too hard to be cool and 'hipster' but I couldn't disagree more. The album is bursting with heart felt lyrics and simple riffs. In this album we are given a deeper incite into the life of the lead singer, Jonathon Pierce, than you would have ever imagined from a band that have a song about surfing. The way that he intertwines sorrowful lyrics with bright, repetitive hooks and lightly distorted guitar is phenomenal, something which I don't think has been done really to such an extent since The Smiths. The Drums clearly have far more depth and troubles to them than we first thought when 'Let's Go Surfing' and 'I feel Stupid' were thrust into our faces by every radio DJ on the airwaves. What's more is there's nothing wrong with the irony used in their lyrics, it works well for them and adds strength, it's surely a positive thing. Occasionally, the repetition can get slightly irritating, for example, in the song 'I need fun in my Life', but most of the time their use of repetition compliments their chilled out scuzzy, indie pop style and adds commercial potential. Having seen them live too, I also know how well it all translates on stage. This album is filled with songs that can't help but make you joyful, yet their frequent sinister lyrics mean than their music, thankfully, lacks cheese and you can enjoy it guilt free. This album could well be the soundtrack to your Summer 2010 and you should certainly try and see them live at a festival this summer.



Katie x

Wednesday 2 June 2010

Shot by Kern Part 2, in Barcelona!

For those of you who enjoyed the last episode of Shot by Kern in London, here's the next episode, this is when he went to Barcelona and shot some spanish girls:


ps. I will do a review of Dot-to-Dot festival that I went to in Manchester soooon!

Dot-to-Dot Festival

So, on bank holiday Monday, I attended my first ever Dot-to-Dot festival in Manchester and what an experience it was!

First off, we saw a local band called 'The Heartbreaks', they're doing great considering they've already been played on radio 1 by Huw Stephens and are now playing gigs in lots of London venues. They were quite good actually, very indie. I'm not majorly into indie though as I feel a lot of indie music is a bit lackluster.

Next, we saw 'The Cheek', formally called 'Cheeky Cheeky and the Nosebleeds', they were great, and the lead singer is gorgeous now that he's thinner. I was a bit gutted that they didn't play any of their old stuff though but it was nice to see them. There was a great atmosphere in there. It was like a school assembly hall, there was nothing in the room apart from a stage and a polished wooden floor. Everyone was sitting down too until the band came on and they stood up promptly, and politely.

We then headed off to see 'The Answering Machine' because they are one of my friend's favourite bands and I've heard that Chapel Club, who were the other band on at that time aren't very good live (?), I like their music though. The Answering Machine were pretty good though anyway.

I then went to see one of my favourite bands ever, Blood Red Shoes. Check out the time that I interviewed, Steven, from the band here.
Blood Red Shoes were on fire and the crowd reaction was amazing. It made me feel so proud to have watched them grow and to see how people now appreciate them so much. Manchester Academy 2 (about the same size as Birmingham Academy 1) is the biggest venue I've ever seen them play at and it was brilliant. They pulled in a good crowd that were singing and bouncing along to every lyric.

Next up, in Academy 3 were The Chapman Family. I'd never seen them play live before, in fact, I hadn't heard much from them since their single 'Kids.' That said, they were brilliant live, Kingsley Chapman, the lead singer, was throwing himself all over the stage in a Gothic, tormented kind of way. At one point he even 'attempted' to strangle himself with the microphone lead. The rest of their music is sounding great too, I shall have to invest in some of it.

We then went off to see Liars, in the 'Club Academy' AKA, the sweaty basement of the Academy. This ended up being one of my favourite gigs of the day. There's nothing quite like the release you get from dancing around to dirty rock music is there? It was headbanging and moshing a go-go, liberating stuff. Liars intense build ups and break downs worked well on stage, you could sense everyone in the crowd waiting for the heavy break down to arrive to throw themselves around to. A truly excellent set to say the least.

We then headed off to see Wild Beasts in Academy 2, after a few, quick, refreshing splashes of water and a dismissal from Katy Klaw from Peggy Sue. Though she cannot really be blamed for this, she was probably petrified! She seemed pretty scared of me as I shouted her name at her after whispering to my friend when she came to the sink next to us "ahh, that's Katy from Peggy Sue" and of course splashing water over myself before that saying "ahhh, oh my God, that was so good! That was amazing, ahh!"
Anyway, back to Wild Beasts! Yes, they were great! A lot better than I though they'd be, the crowd liked them and I didn't even realise how many Wild Beasts songs I knew, I didn't even know that I liked them so much but they surprised me, they were fantastic!

We then decided not to go to Beach House or Egyptian Hip Hop but to wait and get a good place for Mystery Jets and drink Red Stripe. It was well worth it. There was such a brilliant atmosphere at the front, everyone was singing along and jumping in unison. The band seemed pretty pleased with this response, there was a great love for Mystery Jets in that room. They split their set well between stand out songs from their album 'Twenty One' and songs from the new album, which, by the way, are sounding great! I cannot wait for the album release in July now!


From Mystery Jets we ran straight to see Los Campesinos! as their set had already started (but only just). I'd like to think that me and Emily made a dramatic entrance as we jumped down the stairs and through the crowd whilst bellowing the lyrics to Death to Los Campesinos! as they played it on stage. We went to join the 'real' Los Campesinos! fans, a large crowd of people who were jumping and singing along to every word as passionately as the band themselves. The onlookers that didn't know who Los Campesinos! were just looked permanently confused. Their set was superb, love and energy gushing through my veins excitedly. Seeing the band live also made me come to terms with exactly how beautifully written their lyrics are. Their set ended with 'Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks' and Gareth in the crowd, surrounded by happy and devoted fans patting him on the back.
This is the crowd, I could seem to get a picture of Gareth himself! I'm such a bad photographer!


From Los Campesinos! I ran all the way down to Deaf Institute to try and catch some of Yuck, but only managed to catch one song as LC! had run over their allotted time in Club Academy so I was really late. The one song I saw was beautiful though, as was the venue itself. It reminded me of a chapel on the inside with its dome structure but with vintage looking wallpaper with birds printed on it and toilets that looked like they'd come straight from a Mexican bar scene in an old film. It was probably my favourite venue that I've ever visited, even if I was only their for 10-15 minutes! From there we went to a take-away entitled 'Babylon' and I ate vinegar saturated chips smothered in tomato ketchup and then went to see Zane Lowe DJ in a tiny club called 'Factory (FAC251)' which was pretty fun, however, everyone else looked spotless, like they'd not been at a festival all day, whilst we looked sweaty and casually dressed. Zane Lowe is certainly a skilled DJ, I i wish I wasn't such a technophobe and could mix like he can. That said, he played too much drum and bass and dubstep. Don't get me wrong, I love drum and base and dubstep, but that's literally all he played! I like to dance to a good mix of music. It was amazing being that close to Zane Lowe though and he really knew how to work the crowd! He did play an Oasis mix though, which, of course, I disliked. I don't understand how people can like the music that comes from such a rude and ugly man, Liam Gallagher.

I would definitely recommend Dot-to-Dot Festival, it was well worth the £28 that I paid for a ticket and judging by this year and previous years, they always seem to manage to get the line-up spot on!

Katie x