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Blog Quickies

Mercury Prize winner 2008 – Elbow!

Yes, that’s right, Elbow won the Mercury Prize 2008 with their fantastic album “The Seldom Seen kid”.

Excellent!

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Blog Quickies

2007, Dave’s Best Of

As 2007 draws to a close I thought it would be a nice idea to take a look back at some of my favourite albums from the past 12 months.

Musically 2007 has been quite a good year with new albums from the likes of Arcade Fire, Bright Eyes, The Shins and Interpol we have also seen the rise of some new stars like Kate Nash.

So, here are my top ten albums of 2007 in no particular order.

  1. Interpol – Our Love to Admire
  2. Kate Nash – Made of Bricks
  3. Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
  4. Band of Horses – Cease to Begin
  5. Okkervil River – The Stage Names
  6. Sunset Rubdown – Random Spirit Lover
  7. The Broken Family Band – Hello Love
  8. iLiKETRAiNS – Elegies to Lessons Learned
  9. Emmy The Great – My Bad EP
  10. Rilo Kiley – Under the Blacklight

I hear Lily Allen is working on a new album for 2008, which might not be total ass and I’d quite like to hear something from The Boy Least Likely To because they seem to have gone into hiding.

With Take That and the Spice Girls reforming I’m eager to see who else will reform, me and Andreas were talking about B*Witched a couple of days ago and I feel a B*Witched reunion tour should definitely be on the cards.

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Blog Quickies

iLiKETRAiNS on 6Music

I didn’t think this was really worth a news post, so I’ll put it here! iLiKETRAiNS will be playing a couple of songs live on Thursday’s Gideon Coe show on 6Music. You’ll be able to listen again online for a week after it airs, see http://www.bbc.co.uk/6music/shows/gideon_coe/. You can also listen again to last Friday’s (or maybe it was Thursday’s…) session by the English Travelling Wilburys, it was CLASS.

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Blog Quickies

Whole albums for £0.01?!

I haven’t pre-ordered the download of the new Radiohead album yet – although I would be prepared to pay the bargain basement price of £5 for it I’m going to save up and buy the CD-download-2xvinyl-book-artwork £40 version. I am tempted to order the download version for 1p just to see what happens – if I was them, I’d give people what they paid for so if they only send people 3 seconds worth of music, I would find that quite funny.

Of course if they charge me a £5 credit card handling fee I shall write a strongly worded letter to Mr. York and his band of un-merry men to complain.

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Blog Quickies

Mercury Prize 2007 – And the winner is…

The Klaxons – WHY?! Better than the tripe that won it last year? Not much… They decided to wreck the podium when collecting their award, you think they’d know how a microphone works…i.e. don’t put it right in your mouth!!

The Klaxons - Myths Of The Near Future

I was hoping for Bat For Lashes, which is one of my favourite albums of 2007. Saying that, I’m always weary of the bands I like winning the prize due to ‘the curse‘ and all… so lets hope The Klaxons aren’t affected by it…

Bat For Lashes - Fur And Gold

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Blog Quickies

yourcodenameis:milo split up!

Another good band have split up!

Yourcodenameis:milo last night announced they’re to split up after a 5 year and 4 album career. Read on for a statement from the band…

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Blog Quickies Video

Arcade Fire – Neon Bible – In an elevator!

I recently came across this video of the Arcade Fire playing the title track from the Neon bible album in an elevator. Very cool.

Check out the rawkstar review of the album.

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Blog Funny Quickies Random Video

Mime: Natalie Imbruglia – Torn

Look at this – It’s a live(ish) version of “Torn” by Natalie Imbruglia, she gets on stage with a mime who acts out her song – She even joins in with the actions near the end… The guitar solo bit is rather amusing too (even though it’s technically incorrect…).

Random Fact #119203 – David Ford played guitar on Natalie’s 3rd album “Counting Down the Days” which helped fund his solo album “I Sincerely Apologise for all the Trouble I’ve Caused” (More info).

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Blog Quickies

Theirspace #1

Hey there everyone. Guess someone needs to show some love to the blog, so it’s the perfect opportunity to use it as a basis for a feature of sorts. Somewhere that our loving webmaster/editor Bob doesn’t have to work his fingers to the bone creating and editing .php for it. He likes it really though… masochist….

So this is a little thing I’d like to call Theirspace. It first featured on the ill fated/underground (delete as applicable) radio show I ran on Wave of Oscillation. It’s a regular look at the world of MySpace and the bands that populate it – of course to discuss all the bands on MySpace would take forever. No, hopefully by coming here you can take a look at five bands who’s work I’ve come across and enjoyed each week. There are ground rules to this, however;

1) Big bands of course are getting overlooked. What’s the point in telling you that someone like Pete Doherty’s got a MySpace account and releasing his latest heroin addled car crash when of course someone here would report it as news, or you’ve already heard it already
2) Cover bands, as much as I love them, won’t be getting a look in. That’s simply because there are a lot of musicians out there who are busting a nut writing original material. As harsh as it seems, I don’t care if you’ve managed to turn the “funeral march” into a Polyphonic Spree song, it’s a cover.

With that all said….

1: Verdant Skies (www.myspace.com/verdantskies)
Genre: Ambient/Electronica/Downtempo
Location: Ollerton, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom
Standout Track: Ortuo
Verdant Skies started off as a simple side project, but looks to have overtaken the popularity of the band it was originally on the side of. Co-created by Hudson guitarist Ant Whitton with Jim Kirk, the project is heavily influenced by the post rock work of Boards of Canada and Sigur Rós, bands Whitton himself has professed to having a love for. They rocketed up to the Number One Music charts and there is expectation around the Lincolnshire/Nottinghamshire music scene for a CD to be released. There’s been little talk of doing some live shows, with Whitton’s loyalty to Hudson fierce – the group hopefully embarking on some more live dates showcasing their at times Sonic Youth inspired post grunge.

2: Laymar (www.myspace.com/laymarmusic)
Genre: Experimental/Alternative/Progressive
Location: London, United Kingdom
Standout Track: JWL vers 32 demo

After taking a listen to their lo-fi demo I received through the post, I decidedly took their advice to visit their MySpace site. It was there I came across two different tracks omitted from the CD – a demo version of Juvenile Whole Life which thanks to it’s rough recording sounded twice as haunting as the version on their CD. Laymar are definitely worth taking a listen to on MySpace; much like Verdant Skies, their possibility and potential seems very positive in the months to come.

3: Soulkut (www.myspace.com/soulkut)
Genre: Trip Hop/Turntablism
Location: Lyon, France
Standout Track: The Trigger

At 24 years of age, the potential of turntablist Soulkut could be unrivaled. Not content with the promotion of music in his native Lyon, Soulkut gathered together different DJ’s, breakdancers and graffiti artists to help promote new talent within the area, going under the name “800 Industrie”. He found turntablism after working within the reaches of a hip hop act, which was what he called “an important discovery”. Mixing a eurodance style with big beat synths and trip-hop/breakbeat beats, this mish-mash of dance genres makes a funky outlet – The Trigger may be his only track available so far, but it’s garnered the attention of dance indie label Elektrotribe. He is also becoming a renowned producer in France, having worked with K.NAI to produce some tracks for his last album

4: Waif du Jour (www.myspace.com/waifdujour)
Genre: Electroclash/Trip Hop
Location: United Kingdom
Standout Track: Waif du Jour
Avant-garde and every bit as arty as their graphical design, Waif du Jour are either the most pretentiously good electroclash bands on MySpace, or possibly one clever attack on the indie/electronica ideals of present day. Either way, their music is exceptional, with their electroclash a combination of biting social commentary, very comical lyrics and an almost perfect take on the eighties dance/eurodance genre. The cite that they sound like “1990’s chart hits fished out of a 2nd hand bucket“, which is somewhat of an accurate description – only, with a glass half full mentality attached to that. Very fun and one to add to your friends, if not for the remarkable “thank you” comments complete with personalised artwork of your MySpace name.

5: Proxy (www.myspace.com/proxybyproxy)
Genre: Rock/Indie/Alternative
Location: London, United Kingdom
Standout Track: Jetlag

Proof not every band wants to sound like Arctic Monkeys. This band sound like they want to be almost like The Kooks at times, which is acceptable… odd choice… but acceptable. Aside from that, Proxy are a good, old fashioned, uncomplicated alternative rock band with their three chord progressions and stop/start melodies. It is very catchy, however, and breathes life into indie bands on MySpace as it shows their not all following a formulaic approach singing about what the common man would do. There are tales about girls, but it packs a power pop punch, and it’s fun – which ultimately should be part of why you’re searching MySpace for music anyway

There’s five for you, but if you think you’re band deserves a shout on TheirSpace and you, as many, many, many people do, have a MySpace page with tracks on, you can give me a shout at ben@rawkstar.net. Please also, if you are reviewed and are pleased with our account, have the good grace of including Rawkstar.net in your top five MySpace friends list, or even a banner!

Till next week!

Benjii

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Blog Quickies

Help Us Help You…. by Helping Us

Bands, PR Companies, even casual readers of the site. Two important things to put forward:

1) We are hoping to launch a Podcast/Streaming Audio show in the near future. However, we would rather not want to play chance with the law, so do not be alarmed if you at some point recieve and e-mail asking for permission to be included. If you really would like to be part of a happening Podcast the by all means write to the usual address:

2) We don’t charge a thing, we don’t have needless pop ups and at no point did we sell any part of the site for advertising or any other kind of shill. We would hope, however, that if you’ve been reviewed or even love coming to read the reviews at find out how bad Rod’s New Car could get – very soon there will be banners available for use. Oh please, oh please, find it in your hearts to add them to you’re website, you’re MySpace account (Hell, if you include us in your’ Top 8 you could win a prize) or even as part of your signature at any forums you visit, we would really appreciate those gestures.

Anyway – now I can use the blog, expect “TheirSpace” features to appear shortly!

Benjii