Thursday, July 30

I Broke The Neck On My Guitar...

The best new band in the world, Wave Machines, have made a video for their new single and the best song I've heard since November 21 2007, 'Punk Spirit'. I'm not really sure what to make of the clip, it'll probably take a few more spins for me to figure it out. Something about running away, anyway. Watch below. Gaze in awe. Buy it when it comes out on August 24.

Wednesday, July 29

Sigh No More. It's Ready...

Last year the best gig I went and saw was by Mumford & Sons at some pub in Chiswick, London. At the time I said it was "perfect". Then, I made them my top tip for 2009. After which, I got so darn excited at the prospect of their new EP, I posted the artwork just for the sake of it. They are pretty much one of my favourite, favourite bands and they've not even released an album yet. What is that about?

ALBUM is called 'Sigh No More'. RELEASE DATE is October 5.

'Little Lion Man'

Sunday, July 12

Not That There's Anything Wrong With That

"Not that there's anything wrong with that," howls Jerry, rebutting an NYU student's belief that he is in a loving gay relationship with George. "No, of course not... My father's gay," proclaims the latter. One of America's most-spectated television sitcoms - Seinfeld - had just prided the normalcy of homosexuality one step further in the name of egalitarianism. Yet for all that, despite seven million Britons voting for a gay winner of Big Brother, and even with terrestrial telly hustling out the odd queer chat host every other primetime, it only takes a wee gander at California's bewildering Proposition 8 to realise homophobia is still alive. And in all its downtrodden, oppressed and sickly nature to boot. Some might say such cluelessness'll never melt away. But if there's anything else to assist in vanishing the ignorance and opening the door for closeted teens and the fully grown - it's Brüno.

According to early US box office reports, Sacha Baron Cohen's latest character movie has taken $30.4 million in its debut weekend. So somebody will have learned something, surely. Much like Borat acquainted with racism and bigotry, Brüno is not only a very, very, very funny comedy; It's a lesson to be yourself, be tolerant of others and to not take life too seriously. Sure, you'll get such scripture from about ten minutes of Sesame Street, but Cohen has done this via the slightly more adult extremities of homosexuality. Just because US presidential 'candidate' Ron Paul refused to spend the night with the gay Austrian fashionista, it doesn't mean he's homophobic. But the 'God Hates Fags' sign-bearers, the martial artist trained in punting away dildos and the trio of Southern hunters who passed up on naming the Sex And The City cast - that denounced a cold, unassertive society jammed with unhealthy subjection.

What with said-Seinfeld/said-Borat/Curb/Entourage helmer Larry Charles governing proceedings, it's fucking hilarious too. Picking out the wittiest moment is like coercing Angelina Jolie to choose her next toddler. But the Harrison Ford 'interview', the African gayby, the porn swingers night collaboration - all utter comedy gold. And on top of its great significance to civilisation as we know it and letting alone the knee-slapping satire, is Cohen's/Charles's seemingly world-weary take on celebrity philosophy.

Fellow clueful native Ricky Gervais has blasted the matter of reality TV many a moment - heck, The Office's David Brent was born out of regular person's desire to be a star. As is Brüno. Evidently talentless, he just wants to be famous for the sake of being famous. And that drive carries throughout the entire film, of which by the end, he is. But not down to the African baby, his 'celebrity' talkshow series or by attempting to turn straight. Brüno became a big name by being himself, coming out in front of herds of dogmatistic idiots by the means of making love to his assistant Lutz in the middle of a wrestling cage.

Actually, that last scene is Cohen's genius wrapped up in a ball. Jovial humour = Brüno and Lutz getting it on in ring. Social importance = Uninformed schmucks venting homophobic abuse exposed. The message = Brüno's outing broods on the emanation of self-assurance. Ahhhh, just perfect.

So if that's Ali G, Borat and Brüno wrapped up for good, where next for one of the finest comics of our time? Well, whatever path Cohen chooses, he's already given about as much as to humankind as any politician. Probably.

Tuesday, July 7

Freedom Fighters

Florence first. I first saw young Welch at the Liverpool Barfly early last summer as part of Sound City. The fake flowers and the empty birdcage were all a little galling to be honest, but then her chin-dropping vocals made up for it. But then at times such histrionic recoils of flakiness also came off kinda vexing. But then she covered Mystery Jets' 'Flakes' - worth all the annoyances put together. But then I came away thinking there just weren't enough moments of utter straight-up nubtastic pop sensualness blathering out at me. So, as she and her machine shot offstage, really I wasn't sure what to take heed of. Course then the hype followed while she shlopped over to some Hackney synagogue to make the all-important debut...

And La Roux? They, or rather she, I pretty much fell in love with straight off. Away from and regardless of their 'lil mania of hype, Elly Jackson is a shining light for Grey Britain. A forward-thinking, young, no-dressin'-like-tart, cooler-than-thou, R&B-dissin' piece of musical perfection. Not to mention the songs. So, understandably, I expected her first full-disc outing to be rather strong. Which it is. Heck, it really is. But - something I feel shameful to type - I was, well, surprised at how quickly I grew bored of it. It was meant to blare out of my iTunes nonstop for at least a week and a half, but after a day or two, I dunno what happened. It was just... odd.

But not as odd as my reaction to Florence's 'Lungs'. I figured it'd react on me like when I saw her live - very half-great, half-irksome. But it hasn't. This is the album I've been listening to day after day after day. The songs sound huge, production is a perfect size, the melodies are about as addictive as M&S all butter chocolate chunk cookies. It's fantastic, it is majestic, it is everything I didn't think it would be and more.

And yes, the two are very different. But both are female, both albums came out within 8 days of each other and both are actual gleaming evidence that the globe is not all swine flu, poverty and Proposition 8. Who's better? Welch, then. Which really wasn't supposed to happen.

PS Little Boots' atrocity of a debut is obviously not even in the same ball park.

Wednesday, July 1

Album Of Last Month

Wave Machines 'Wave If You're Really There' (Neapolitan)

If the thought of yet another Wii-possessed electro clan fills you with more fury than Alice Glass devoid of her morning blood-shot espresso, Wave Machines may just be the whizzes to save your spirit. Stationed at the fore of Liverpool’s artsy underground, they fashion their ‘sound’ inside a disused church loft by day and perform behind masks of their own faces by night. Sure it all seems about as screwy as some pious Rob Zombie fan club, yet this debut album is one bountiful grab bag of Beta Band-mannered thrums, superhuman psych pop elation and Travis Bickle-type slurs on humanity. Heck, ‘Punk Spirit’ is charged on enough emotion-bottling to make you weep. Then come the Hot Chip-fired bleep bops of ‘The Line’ to let out the tension. Damn bizarro but doubtlessly glorious.

Best Track
'Dead Houses'