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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Hi-Five! Happy Birthday EardrumsPop!

Another special feature replacing our regular Sunday Discoverer Series, but it was mandatory: EardrumsPop is 5 years old!!

Our dear Knut, EardrumsPop' founder, summarizes the story of the label so far here. But if you allow me to make mine, here it is. Five years introducing us new artists. Five years releasing (for free) quality, lovely, enduring songs. Five years being the reason behind engaging new projects. Five years promoting bands on the blogosphere. Five years also taking care of music artworks, giving space to fantastic illustrators for the covers art. Five years of a labour of love for music. HUGE THANKS.

And in the pure EardrumsPop style, do you know how they have chosen to celebreate their anniversary? Coming out with another mesmerizing compilation, gathering 38 tunes from all the artists they have worked with during these years… Yeah folks, 38 tunes for free from many bands we love and have been featured previously at the Blog (some of them thanks to EardrumsPop), like The Swapsies, The Very Most, Making Marks, Lost Tapes,  Sleeping Policemen, The Royal Landscaping Society, and others that will be under our radar from now on (our discoveries series are fed with great names now!). As usual, you can listen the compilation at their soundcloud, or grab it... but please show that you care, and spread the word about it. The bands and EardrumsPop deserve it.

It's celebration time with EardrumsPop. So it's time for great music. Congratulations EardrumsPop, keep the music coming!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Bloodbuzzed Jukebox Week 52

It's been a week of books with Sant Jordi, but there's always time for music, so here's we are back with a new round of our TOP TEN playlistincluding the tunes we have been enjoying the most lately. This time we propose a playlist with almost all new bands, with the exception of our beloved The Swapsies, thanks to our beloved EardrumsPop (more very very soon), so this is a magnificent opportunity to explore and enjoy all the new suggestions. Please, don't forget to join us at our Soundcloud blog page.

Direct links to 2015 Jukebox playlists
Week 36  Week 37  Week 38   Week 39  Week 40 
Week 41  Week 42  Week 43  Week 44   Week 45
Week 46  Week 47   Week 48  Week 49    Week 50
Week 51 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Indiepop Shop Talk Vol. 1: making a difference

A special feature today instead of our regular Sunday Discoverer Series, in the form of an incredible compilation of songs from members of the Indiepop Shop Talk Facebook group. Solidarity and great indiepop in a wonderful initiative.

Indiepop Shop Talk is a Facebook group for indiepop/shoegaze/retro pop/dream pop musicians/labels/bloggers, etc. where we discuss about music (playing, recording) and its promotion. It's a very nice community (for a humble blogger like me a very nice way to chat with amazing musicians you admire). But this time Indiepop Shop Talk has gone much further. Coordinated by Michaël Korchia from our beloved Watoo Watoo and with the bandcamp tasks carried out by our friend Jeremy Jensen from The Very Most, here's a stunning, never-ending collection of 50 indiepop tunes in all its diversity. A sonic document of what's Indiepop Shop Talk but also a generous way to contribute to a good cause, as all the compilation proceeds will be donated to UNICEF.

Now you know. For a tiny, ridiculous amount of money you can get 50 tunes from amazing bands like The Hi-Life Companion, Bubblegum Lemonade, Aberdeen, The King in Mirrors, Franny & Zooey, Postal Blue, Souvenir Stand, Star Tropics, etc, etc, etc, while you help kids around the world. Indiepop goes strong when it goes together. Go have a listen and buy it HERE!

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Bloodbuzzed Jukebox Week 51

Ready for another round of exciting music? Our Jukebox series reaches its 51st week with another TOP TEN playlist playlist including the tunes we have been enjoying the most lately. Like the unpredictable Spring weather, we have a really eclectic collection of tunes, full of new findings. A lot to listen & enjoy! And don't forget to join us at our Soundcloud blog page.

Direct links to 2015 Jukebox playlists
Week 36  Week 37  Week 38   Week 39  Week 40 
Week 41  Week 42  Week 43  Week 44   Week 45
Week 46  Week 47   Week 48  Week 49    Week 50

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Indie Anthology 63: essential songs

I'm reading 'Pequeño Circo', what could be considered the Spanish version of 'Please Kill Me', an impressively detailed (more than 900 hundred pages) oral history of the alternative music in our country (the 90s you know). So the next chapter in our anthology was almost mandatory. Here's a slice of the best indiepop ever made in Spain, courtesy of one of the most privileged minds has ever been on a stage, Sergio Algora...

Song: Pon Tu Mente al Sol
Artist: El Niño Gusano
Year: 1996
Use your imagination and make it pop. And if you can make people happy for a while. That's what the songs of El Niño Gusano, the songs of Sergio Algora can do for you. Pure surrealism and lyrics that simply show he was a writer penning tunes, bits of psychedelia and all the joy you can put into 3-4 minutes of music you call pop. A genuine talent, one of the true artists of Spanish indie. 'Pon Tu Mente al Sol' is one of my favourites tunes from El Niño Gusano. It's a perfect tune soaked in the sun, the straightforwardness of the music, with the jangly guitars, combining with Algora's trademark lyrics and an unstoppable, upbeat vibe, crowned with a heavenly chorus... And then the song changes completely, a fanfare appears, trumpets, a chorus reminiscent of Love, The Beatles.... Genious all over. El Niño Gusano, the best smile providers in Spain from 1993 to 1999.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Discoverer 114: new indie findings

Two fantastic, very personal projects, plus a band making gorgeous classic indiepop on our discoveries' trio of the weekend! Enjoy!

Nadine Shah. Born in Whitburn, South Tyneside, to Pakistani-Norwegian parents, this British musician started making a big buzz with two EPs, debut 'Aching Bones' in November 2012, and 'Dreary Town' in April 2013. First album, 'Love Your Dum and Mad' appeared that July, confirming the arrival of an artist to be closely followed. Now she returns with 'Fast Food', out now, a powerful & flawless collection  of tunes that fosters the path of the dark, alternative rock, that channels the spirit of PJ Harvey and Nick Cave, but with an idiosyncrasy (very personal lyrics too) completely of their own. Rising star.

Slow Decades. Hailing from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK, this yet unsigned band (labels, what are you waiting for?) has been around for a few years now, playing gigs mainly in the north east of England, while they fnished their debut album. After two years in the making, 'The Frost & The Concrete' saw the light of day at the end of 2014, and this indiepop wonder can't pass unnoticed. Heartfelt, delicate, enduring, with all the 80s lo-fi charms, the quintet leaded by Ben Lowes-Smith knows how to put together everlasting melodies, lush instrumental details, melancholic lyrics and warm vocals. A truly gorgeous LP demanding your attention.

Anomie. Under this moniker hides Philadelphia, PA-based Rachel Browne, vocalist/guitarist of the also interesting dream pop band Field Mouse. After a couple of tunes that surfaced previously on the Internet, the alternative pop songstress has delivered her first, self-titled EP, on February 2015 through Father/Daughter Records. Four tunes written in California and recorded with the help of Andrew Futral on bass and Erick Slick on drums, where Browne, as the artwork rightly states, shows her teeth: urgency, guitars, intensity, and achingly straightforward emotions. Meet Rachel!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Bloodbuzzed Jukebox Week 50

If March was the month of music... April will not be far behind! In a few days we are going to see The Twilight Sad and at the end of the month will be time for Luna's gig! But first goes first and one week more we have a new round of our TOP TEN playlist with some familiar faces like Flyying Colours and Tennis in addition to new discoveries like Speedy Ortiz or The Landing. As always, this is also available at our Soundcloud blog pageJoin us!

Direct links to 2015 Jukebox playlists
Week 36  Week 37  Week 38   Week 39  Week 40 
Week 41  Week 42  Week 43  Week 44   Week 45
Week 46  Week 47   Week 48  Week 49 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Indie Anthology 62: essential songs

In a perfect world, the next song in our anthology would be the definition you find in dictionaries, the example music schools (if they teach that) use to explain what's a one-hit wonder... Simply a perfect jangle-pop (some might say twee) tune from a completely forgotten band... from Greece??? What I just said. A one-hit wonder... but what a wonder!!

Song: If She Doesn't Smile (It'll Rain)
Artist: Fantastic Something
Year: 1983

If you don't instantly fall in love with this song, let's face it, pop is not your thing. Which is utterly sad, because this is just a glorious tune, a slice of heaven made on earth, built on crystalline guitars. A lost treasure, suspended in memory and recovered by social networks, created by Alex and Constantin, the Veis brothers, Boston, Massachussets natives but brought up in Greece. There's a bit more of history as well as a little more on their songs out there, but nothing comes close to this gem (although it's on my-to-do list to check the 85' Cherry Red album properly). It's all about the melody and the feeling you couldn't skip one single note, as if the whole tune was assembled in one piece, like a waterfall of guitars, permanently there, intricate, merged one into the other, brightly shimmering together. Ringing in your ear, and memory. Forever.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Discoverer 113: new indie findings

A very eclectic trio of proposals in our discoveries' series this weekend! Sure you'll find something to love!

The Go! Team. Call it prejudice, I won't argue, there's too much music out there to reach everything, so I never got into this six-piece band from Brighton, UK, conceived by Ian Parton in 2000s as a project to mix all sorts of music styles, from Sonic Youth to Bollywood soundtracks, from hip hop to electro. The ambitious ideas crystallised in three LP so far, 'Thunder, Lightning, Strike' (2004), 'Proof of Youth' (2007) and 'The Rolling Blackouts' (2011); and five EPs, debut 'Get It Together' (2000), 'Are You Ready for More?' (2005), 'Audio Assault Course' (2006) and two live recordings. But the real reason The Go! Team are included here is because of 'The Scene Between' their latest album, out since this March via Memphis Industries and, easily, one of the best of the year so far. Without losing any of their trademark's effervescence and kaleidoscopic way of understanding pop, here's a collection of stunning, bright, cheery, jumpy and joyous indiepop tunes. Dance, smile, enjoy, go!

Death and the Maiden. When you receive an email from Fishrider's boss Ian Henderson you are going to hear something worth listening, so it's time to go back to Dunedin, NZ, folks. Inspired by an Edward Munch engraving, vocalist and bassist Lucinda King returned to New Zealand from Berlin in 2012 to make music with synth and drum programming Danny Brady. It seems Chromatics was a major influence but, luckily (not a fan of italo-pop for blatantly empty movies) the duo found there was something more authentic, menacing, darker here, flirting with post-punk as well as with hypnosis, and adding a wider sonic palette to their sound with the addition of guitarist and drummer Hope Robertson. Now that their self-titled debut LP is out via Fishrider we invite you to introduce yourself into the gloomy but starkly beautiful world of Death and the Maiden, seven haunting pieces set on a parallel universe of telluric shadows, icy machines and ethereal vocals. The distant war dances of the heart...

Etti/Etta. We end our round of proposals with Raffaella and Marcus, a duo coming from Campora, Italy, and Toronto, Canada, active since 2014 and with a stunning debut EP, named 'No? Yes', self-made, handmade, totally DIY-casette-made, out since past September, with another tune available at their bandcamp (all-pay-what-you-want) since this February and the promise of more to come very soon. Six tunes so far and a lot to admire: somewhere in between post-punk and noise pop, here's the unadulterated lo-fi attitude, the howl, the roar, the edge, the stomping feeling packed with the ominous, the mystery, the haze. Rough dreams. A personal favourite of the year so far...

Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Bloodbuzzed Jukebox Week 49

Still enjoying your holidays? We hope you are doing so, and in order to help you a bit here's a second round of our TOP TEN playlist this week! More free time means more music to listen and discover, so we had many exciting tunes we wanted to share with you! Like the return of our beloved The School, The French Pop Dream or The Fabulous Artisansor new discoveries like Waxahatchee or Talkie Walkie. Have a listen and take care! And remember, this is also available at our Soundcloud blog pageJoin us!

Direct links to 2015 Jukebox playlists
Week 36  Week 37  Week 38   Week 39  Week 40 
Week 41  Week 42  Week 43  Week 44   Week 45
Week 46  Week 47   Week 48 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

'Sunshine On My Back' Easter with The National

Out of the blue, coming from nowhere, here's a new The National tune! It's called 'Sunshine On My Back' and it comes from free if you grab a copy of Mistaken from Strangers, their genious music documentary (or should I say mockumentary) that is available worldwide today from their website.

The tune, a discarded song from 'Trouble Will Find Me' sessions, counts with the collaboration of our beloved Sharon Van Etten, and the result is another great, quintessential Matt & Co's piece, warm, melancholic, enduring. How nice are gifts that come as a surprise! Listen below!

"Citizenfour", revolution will be encrypted


There are, at least, two movies in 'Citizenfour', so allow me to divide the review in two parts.

Part 1. 'Citizenfour' is a thriller. A thriller about espionage. But you won't see George Clooney selling you coffee, or Brad Pitt playing with his sunglasses in slow motion, or CSI's Miami ridiculously photoshopped settings. It's a real life one. It happens in laptops, at several homes, and in hotel rooms where conversation happens. Don't look for car chasings, explosions or heroic cops/detectives. We could even agree there's few action, and the documentary is slow-paced and complex, something that you might find that disappointing or too much for your taste. That's sad. Because it's hard for me to think on movies that can compare to 'Citizenfour' in what regards to tension. The tension of seeing a movie director, Laura Poitras, a journalist, Glenn Greenwald, and a computer professional (a high-level analyst) Edward Snowden, risking their lives because of planning to meet in secrecy, then gathering in Hong-Kong to unveil the latest only weapon: information. Real, deeply disturbing, meaningful information, proving how the American National Security Agency (NSA) is invading your privacy. Indiscriminately, Illegally. Unacceptably. Shamefully. And when I say you, I mean everyone. You might prefer to keep checking your mobile. That's very sad too. This thriller makes 99% of thrillers look irrelevant and dumb. Here's reality, unfolding by the minute offered to any viewer willing to see thanks to a brave filmmaker. Here are real, working-class heroes exposing themselves in the search and defense of truth. A truth that is hidden by the most powerful government on the planet (but make no mistake, despite the US government is the one primarily pointed out, any Western government is equally responsible, or at least accomplice). A truth that should embarrass the government of any nation self-defined as a democracy. A digital David against an army of Goliaths. A flesh and bones starring role, scared, fragile (you can see the fear, the uncertainty in his face, his body language, it's gripping, compelling and disturbing at the same time) but determined to sacrifice his life to reveal a scandal that is silenced with just one word: terrorism. That's a real hero in my book. Move to part 2.

Part 2. If as a movie 'Citizenfour' is a fascinating miracle, a movie done 'undergound', the importance o what it tells us is even more striking. The movie begins with director Poitras already working on a film about surveillance in the US, a country unconsciously (I hope) sacrificing their liberties in the name of security, in the name of the war of terror after 9/11. What Poitras show us is appalling and disturbing well even before Snowden reaches her. Same can be said about Glenn Greenwald's work too, as he is the other one in front of the camera, creating journalistic pieces explaining the whole issue, being invited to talk in front of selected audiences on the crucial revelations. He has one blatant scene in Rio de Janeiro when he just says that this is not about security or terrorism but to gather as much information about economy, privileged information for corporations, so the US economic machinery is still on top. Funny when liberals and capitalism defenders say they are against regulations but use the government to control you, don't you think? Funny when a nation forces other country to sit on a negotiation table on behalf of international agreements/law but at the same time mocks any of these more basic principles going beyond its borders in its demented espionage paranoia, don't you coincide?. Funny when a president uses Malcolm Luther King's words about freedom and equality but he's eroding civil liberties inside and outside the borders of the nation he governs, don't you agree?
The amount of lies & liars documented on “Citizenfour' is depressing. But for me, it's even more dispiriting to have the feeling, as a puzzling open debate within the EU wisely points out, a vast majority of citizens in the Western World has given up. Are we really ok with the idea of being permanently watched, monitored, controlled? Do we love our digital devices so much that are more important than our privacy? Are we ready to say bye to our democratic system and became politically-correct dictatorhips regimes? Have we been asked about it? I haven't. And I still want my rights. Don't you? A good starting point to react and do something might be watching this film. Thanks Poitras, Greenwald and, of course, Citizenfour.

SCORE: 8,5/10