2007, Dave’s Best Of

Posted by Dave at 14:59 on December 22, 2007

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.

Filed under Feature

Theirspace #1

Posted by dj bored housewife at 00:37 on August 28, 2006

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

Filed under Feature

Placebo .Meds – Fancy packaging!

Posted by Bob at 01:57 on March 21, 2006

I ordered the new Placebo album ‘Meds’ the other week from HMVs website, at the time I thought £17.99 was a bit much for a CD with a bonus CD. But I ordered it anyway! It’s one of my CD buying ‘rules’, if there is a special edition, I have to get it! This applies even if I’m not a massive fan of the band… Anyway, I’m still not convinced that it was worth £17.99. – Edit: I just found it on Amazon for a whole £7 cheaper! D’oh. Oh well, that’ll teach me not to shop around!

Back to the album itself, the packaging looks like a book, the book part has mostly images with the song lyrics, CD/DVD content and the usual credits part in it. The first half of the book is promo pictures of the album artwork, which is basically an almost naked woman, the rest of it contains pictures from the recording of the album, random arty shots of walls and guitars etc.

I will try and get a review up of the music and DVD at some point, but here are a couple of pictures of the packaging taken with my cameraphone (so excuse the poor quality…). Click the thumbnails below to view.

Placebo .Meds (packaging 2)Placebo .Meds (packaging 1)

Filed under Feature and Random

iTunes & Mini reviews…

Posted by Bob at 21:12 on January 24, 2006

Starting today, I have decided to take it upon myself to review the latest free download from the iTunes UK music store *every week.

First review is of ‘Tina Dico’. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Who?!”, well I was thinking the same… infact, judging by the other free tunes I’ve downloaded in the past, you’ll be saying that [“Who?!”] every week!

Anyway, pop over to the rawkstar main page and click the latest mini review “Tina Dico – In the Red”. – Enjoy.

*Every week unless I forget, or can’t be bothered… or as with the last 2 weeks the songs have been too bad to feature on rawkstar… and not that I’m lazy.

Filed under Feature, Update and Website

Patrick Wolf album in 2006

Posted by Andreas at 17:58 on January 15, 2006

My current love, as far as music is concerned, Patrick Wolf is releasing his third album this year. More details on the musical aspect of the album in the full-length interview i did with the lovely Mr. Wolf elsewhere on rawkstar.net.

Some more news have later emerged though. The album will be named “The Magic Position” (the mind boggles…) and will be released on Loog/Polydor. Which means, ladies and gentlemen, that the wolf is going big time.

Along with the prospects of a new Biffy Clyro and maybe an Arcade Fire album in 2006, I am very very excited.

Also worth a look are Norwegian band Syracus’ first EP, “Sleeping Thermostat”. www.syracus.no

Bosh!

Filed under Feature and News