Friday, September 12, 2014

The Bloodbuzzed Jukebox 23

In this long weekend, at least for some of us, we don't miss the chance to present you our weekly TOP TEN playlist with the songs we have been enjoying the most lately. Perhaps one of the most eclectic selections, including the 60' influenced songs of Go Metric USA, all the bliss rock of Night School, the crafted songs of TOPS, the sweet, fun & playful rock of The School, or the fuzzed guitars of The Twilight Sad. So, what are you waiting for? There are all at our  Blog's soundcloud, so please Join Us and enjoy it!

Direct links to the previous Jukebox weeks
Week 1      Week 8        Week 15     Week 22
Week 2      Week 9        Week 16
Week 3      Week 10      Week 17 
Week 4      Week 11      Week 18  
Week 5      Week 12      Week 19 
Week 6      Week 13      Week 20
Week 7      Week 14      Week 21

Welcome to the Jukebox!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Indie Anthology 51: essential songs

We reached another Blog landmark: 50 tunes on our Indie Anthology. So number 51 had to be something special. Very special. So I decided to go even more personal, openly confessional (apologies if I get a bit cheesy) with next tune. Not just a great tune from one of my favourite pop composers of all time. Along with R.E.M., probably the reason this Blog exists...

Song: Instinct
Artist: Crowded House
Year: 1996

The first record I bought was 'Recurring Dream' the greatest hits compilation album Crowded House released as their (then) swan song. It's hard to believe today, but the record got quite a lot of buzz in Spain (there was even a TV ad) and radio airplay and, on a time that now seems ages ago, the video of 'Instinct', was frequently on programs like 'Los 40 Principales' or 'Sputnik' (check the vid). I got abducted by Neil Finn's masterful ability to create eternal pop tunes. Romantic but with a darker twist, funny, carefree (ok, sometimes a bit silly too) and power-pop numbers cohabiting with melancholic and moodier ones, not afraid of dealing with riskier subjects. Middle eight melodies capable of getting epic without crossing the annoying line, always with a fragment ready to reach you in a way you wouldn't want the rest of the world know. Can sadness be uplifting? Try Crowded House... Of course I ran to grab a copy to almost every album (try asking for Splitz Enz debut in Barcelona before the Internet arrived), lost single and book (first music biography I ever read in English). I followed Neil Finn's solo career and saw him presenting the lovely and surprising 'Try Whistling This' album in Barcelona, my first gig, joined by my father, who was really surprised how different his sons could be (my brother was into Depeche Mode then, 'Ultra' era). But then I just couldn't stop, so I went deeper, on his music style, influences and origins... then the Pandora's box opened: The Bats, The Verlaines, The Chills, but also Marr & Morrissey, and then... umm you pretty much have a clue of the rest if you follow this Blog. Although time has put Crowded House on a different perspective to me, I still would carry 'Together Alone' with me to a desert island, and I still have goosebumps every time I hear 'Distant Sun', 'Fingers of Love' or 'Weather With You'. To put it simply, Crowded House are my Beatles. "Your instinct can't be wrong"...

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Bloodbuzzed Jukebox 22

Friday again, and as usual, here's our TOP TEN playlist with the songs we have been enjoying the most lately. It's a moody collection of tunes this time, probably a symptom we need to slow down for a second, try to relax and get away of this stressful beginning of September. There's no better way than do it so with music, therefore, take it easy! Of course, it's also available at the Blog's soundcloud, so please Join Us!

Direct links to the previous Jukebox weeks
Week 1      Week 8        Week 15 
Week 2      Week 9        Week 16
Week 3      Week 10      Week 17 
Week 4      Week 11      Week 18  
Week 5      Week 12      Week 19 
Week 6      Week 13      Week 20
Week 7      Week 14      Week 21

Welcome to the Jukebox!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

These Go to 11: interviewing The Luxembourg Signal

It's been a little while without our interview series at the Blog. But what a comeback you are about to read! A gifted, experimented musician and (not kidding) a paranormal activity finder: Beth Arzy from the legendary Aberdeen & Trembling Blue Stars, and more recently, part of the great Charlie Big Time and The Luxembourg Signal. So, let's talk about music, supernatural phenomena and guilty pleasures. These Go to 11!

Beth Arzy, The Luxembourg Signal
Beth Arzy, lady of indiepop
& paranormal activities
What a curriculum our guest has! A Sarah Records MUST-LISTEN and criminally underrated band? Check. She was the lead singer of Aberdeen. A wonderful cult group? Check. She was a core member of Trembling Blue Stars. A charming indiepop project, featured in our "discoverer series"? Check. Charlie Big TimeAnd a exciting, not to miss 2014 new adventure, also praised at Bloodbuzzed, with a flamboyant self-titled album courtesy of our dear friends at Shelflife Records about to see the light of day. Check, check, check. She is part of The Luxembourg SignalIndiepop, dreampop, shoegaze... plus an investigator & team secretary at the Ghost Finder Paranormal Society, a professional organization reporting poltergeists and supernatural phenomena across the UK. Here we go!

Bowie does Jerry Lee Lewis
1. First record that you bought (be honest)
Well, I guess technically it would be a Leif Garrett best of, 8 track tape that I won at the fair. I paid 10 cents to throw a ping pong ball into a fish bowl so I got the fish and Leif Garrett. The first time I bought records with my pocket money, I bought 3 singles at the mall: 'Queen of Hearts' by Juice Newton, 'Modern Love' by David Bowie and 'Sail On' by The Commodores.

2. First and last concert you have attended (be honest too!)
First concert I went to (my Father took me) to a little festival in Florida to see The Monkees (1985-6?). My last concert was seeing the German band To Rococco Rot here in London. It was AWESOME.

The most beautiful (and shared)
guilty pleasure
3. Guilty pleasure (song/band you shouldn’t like but you do, yes, it’s the embarrassing question)
At the moment, Bobby is saying 'The Beautiful South' to me, but I’m not really embarrassed about any of the bands I love. People make fun of me for liking The Wonderstuff and Pop Will Eat Itself and Jesus Jones, but I tell you what… I went to see them (all 3) last year, by myself, and had a whale of a time!! I love Helen Reddy and I love Skinny Puppy. No pleasure is guilty, just pleasure.

4. Most precious music item you own (collector mode on)
That’s easy. I have a maraca signed by Mickey Dolenz! Bobby played them on his new record! I’ve never let a single soul touch them before.

5. Favorite lyrics (not yours)
And I need you more than want you, and I want you for all time.” (From 'Wichita Lineman' by Glen Campbell)

Mr. Tweedy, the "coffee guy"
6. Musician/s you would like to meet (should be alive, for obvious reasons, but you can choose a dead one too)
I think I’ve met most of my favourites (some good, some BAD). I’d have to say Jeff Tweedy, as he’s such a great songwriter and seems like a good guy to have a coffee with. If we’re talking dead… I’d love to meet Florian Fricke. WHAT a talent. OH GOD… David Bowie. Nearly forgot. I would DIE, but not before snogging his face off.

7. Favorite artwork album (not yours)
Oingo Boingo’s 'Only a Lad' EP. It’s one of the Louis Wain cats. I’d love to have it as a tattoo but that’s a lot of scraping.

Sebald's on Saturn
8. Books or movies? Depending on your answer recommend us one (trick: you can choose both) 
Depends on the mood. I just saw 'Boyhood', which was great, but I’m reading Sebald’s 'The Rings of Saturn' at the moment, which I’m enjoying very much. I’m normally reading books on high strangeness but need to break away from that every once in a while.

9. Release (of yours) you are most proud of
I’d have to say the Robert Hampson remix of 'The Light Outside' by Trembling Blue Stars. It’s a remix of a TBS song called 'Half-Light' and an instrumental called 'Outside'. He deconstructed the actual song and put it back together with Hampson aplomb. Every sound/note he used, he took from our original track, but put his stamp all over it when he put it back together. It’s beautiful. I cried the first time I played it. He told me “it’s like Big Star in space”. I’m so proud to have something out there that he’s touched.

10. What’s does it mean indie for you? (yes, the “serious question”)
I suppose I think of independent labels. Small labels like Touch Records that do everything themselves and have never sold up to a major.

11. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Living in Shetland. Surrounded by sheep and sea and quiet.

Zillion thanks Beth!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

"Begin Again", feel-good hit of the summer

Begin Again

It's great that films like 'Begin Again' see the light of day. A film about making, feeling and enjoying the music. A movie about creating songs (songs where lyrics are meaningful and real instruments are played, where asses, stupidity, amount of provocative tweets &/or dresses doesn't matter at all) with enough charms and vividness to keep you smiling after the credits roll on.

Having said that, 'Begin Again' cannot compete with the sense of freshness, rawness and romanticism of the director's previous and celebrated work, 'Once', and some of the tricks that build the development of the film are so hard to believe it all relies on the spectator's shoulders. If you "buy" the story, you'll certainly enjoy 'Begin Again'. If not, it might annoy you from time to time. I encourage you to not get obsessed with verisimilitude and realism. Lower your guard in that sense.

Writer-director John Carney has created a comedy with hints of drama and heartbreaks where possibility and opportunity have the form of a three minute pop song. It's basically a contemporary, flesh and bones tale. Gretta (played with grace by Keira Knightley) and her boyfriend Dave (Adam Levine from the obnoxious Maroon 5, and yes folks, sadly enough, he sings on the movie) are not only a perfect couple but also a major creative force, landing in New York while stardom is knocking on their doors... aka a major label deal. But fame brings also the more common (along with drugs and booze) trouble and Gretta is left on her own... with her tunes. And that's when Dan (as usual, Mark Ruffalo on a solid performance), a fallen angel of a record-label executive appears, also abandoned, in terms of family & in terms of music industry. It jumps from scene to scene in brush strokes, making clear that Carney just needs an excuse, an emotional setting where he can locate his unusual music recording story. The movie really begins when Dan imagines how he could produce the aching, acoustic song a devastated Gretta is performing on an East Village venue. It's also the first of several uplifting moments on the film.

It's kind of a last chance for both. For Gretta is either trying to follow this desperate man into his attempt to record her songs or leaving the States (and maybe music?). For Dan, it's either completely sink or swim. As a feel-good movie, 'Begin Again' takes the obvious directions except in one area where Carney surprises the spectator not going for what it would have been the blandest, romantic choice. Instead, he focus just in music and New York City, the other starring of 'Begin Again' (with all my respect to my dear Catherine Keener and some other secondary roles). The idea of a "live and alive" album Gretta & Dan are aiming to record is refreshing (impossible too) and offers joyful renditions of songs played behind a summery, shiny, exuberant city. It's hard to resist, so haunting you'll forget the lame scenes/debates on music industry or Mr. Levine singing. It's the power of music in a mind-blowing environment.

SCORE: 6,75/10

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Discoverer 101: new indie findings

Our 101 post in our discoverer series is a special one: another trip "down under", but this time to Melbourne, Australia, where three exciting bands are ready to blow you away!

The Zebras. Pop veterans that started their career in Brisbane in 2001 when Jeremy Cole, Edwina Ewins, Matt Jones and Leon Dufficy made the move from Cairns and shoegaze, quickly supporting bands like Lambchop and The Shins, a most promising fact fuelled by the airwaves love of first single 'Car of Idiots'. In 2004 arrived their eponymous debut album on Lost and Lonesome, with sophomore LP 'Worry a Lot' coming in 2007, to much of acclaim from fans and critics. But then came frustration with Brisbane's pop scene, which provoked the group's disband. Although there was an EP in 2008, 'New Ways of Risking Our Lives' with Cole and Ewins introduced assembling a new line-up, The Zebras got in some sort of hibernation... until now, with the arrival of flamboyant new album 'Siesta', out since June on Jigsaw Records and Lost and Lonesome. POP in big capital letters, sumptuous, jangling, endearing, sun-soaked, with Edwina Ewins melting hearts vocals. Serious contender for the best-of-the-year albums lists...

Twerps. Formed in late 2008, this quartet were already supporting big names like Deerhunter, The Bats, Black Lips, Yo La Tengo and Thee Oh Sees within a few months of their first show. Their debut EP, 'Good Advice', arrived on Chapter Music a year later in late 2009 (also released on cassette at US by Night People label). Hype became a fact when Uncut magazine called them “best new band in Australia”, fostered in 2011 when they released single 'She Didn't Know' and 'Black Eyes', followed by self-titled debut album co-released by Chapter Music and Underwater Peoples. A new single, 'Work It Out/He's In Stock', and a tour with Real Estate came in 2012. Now, after a line-up change on drums, Twerps return to action with eight song EP 'Underlay', out this August on Chapter Music and Merge Records. Immediate pop, playful and unaffected. Lazy voices, crystalline guitars, killer melodies, lo-fi scent... Honouring their own tradition (hard not to hear echoes from The Bats or The Clean) while giving us an irresistible dose of immaculate guitar-pop.

Lowtide. Although technically, they began in 2008 as Three Month Sunset, built around the solo workings of Gabriel Lewis, the band's rebirth as Lowtide in 2010 was more than just a name change, becoming a full and expansive sounding quartet. That same year the group released debut EP 'You Are My Good Light'. Shows with A Place To Bury Strangers and Festivals with names like Caribou, My Disco and Toro Y Moi followed. 2011 seem the band releasing a two-track single entitled 'Underneath Tonight' on Departed Sounds, with more shows alongside bands such as Royal Baths, The Laurels or Beaches. On 2012 and 2013 Lowtide focused on playing and preparing their self-titled first album, which was anticipated this May by the mind-blowing single 'Blue Movie', and its out since middle July on Lost and Lonesome. Somewhere in between the lovely Ride and celestial Slowdive (yes, talking big here), Lowtide have created and extraordinary record, full of reverb and dreamy layered guitars, air-suspended vocals and lush textures. A dreampop classic in 2014.

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Bloodbuzzed Jukebox 21

Almost ending summer holidays and, in a few days, most of the people returning to their daily routines. So, what a better way to confront the holiday depression than enjoy our TOP TEN playlist? This week we bring you some consecrated bands as Real Estate, The June Brides or Robert Scott from The Bats,as well as, our beloved Honeyblood, and some fresh songs by The History of Apple Pie or Beach Day. As latest weeks, it's also available at the Blog's soundcloud, so please Join Us!

Direct links to the previous Jukebox weeks
Week 1      Week 8        Week 15 
Week 2      Week 9        Week 16
Week 3      Week 10      Week 17   
Week 4      Week 11      Week 18  
Week 5      Week 12      Week 19 
Week 6      Week 13      Week 20 
Week 7      Week 14

Welcome to the Jukebox!