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Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Bloodbuzzed Jukebox Week 80

This week we achieve an amazing number: 80 weeks of Jukebox! This means that you have more than 800 songs to listen, discover and enjoy, here and at our Soundcloud. We hope you enjoy listening them as much as we love surfing the net in search of more exciting tunes, here it's a new opportunity to immerse yourself into the vast ocean of musical possibilities. Enjoy the weekend!

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   Week 52  Week 53  Week 54    Week 55  
Week 56   Week 57   Week 58  Week 59   Week 60 
Week 61   Week 62   Week 63  Week 64  Week 65 
Week 66   Week 67   Week 68  Week 69   Week 70 
Week 71   Week 72   Week 73  Week 74   Week 75
Week 76   Week 77   Week 78  Week 79 

Friday, November 27, 2015

These Go to 11: interviewing The Birkins

This week we are extremely happy at the Blog, because we recover the interview series after another hiatus and, to do the comeback in a proper way, we have one of our favourite national bands answering the questionnaire (can't deny we have a soft spot with them). We are referring to The Birkins! One of the funniest and sincerest interviews we have had, something logical considering how charming and good-natured are this folks, as nicer as their music. Thanks for your time and honesty, we laughed a lot! These Go to 11!

Canarias' finest: The Birkins, islanders of pop 
The Birkins
Daniel Machín, Sergio Miró, Alby Ramírez and Cristina Santana formed The Birkins in 2008 in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. They quickly started to make some noise, as a year later they won the nationwide Heineken Greenspace contest, signing with our beloved label El Genio Equivocado in 2011. Then came their self titled debut album and instantly, we fell in love with their mix of British pop, French chanson, Americana and an intriguing experimental side. Two years later, in February 2013, they released 'Châteaux en Espagne' a new example of classy, diverse and colourful indie pop. Finally, this last September they have launched 'Souvenirs', another gem on a flawless career so far, one where each song shows their care, taste and scope of their idiosincratic way of understanding pop, something you can also see if you have the wisdom of watching them live. Here we go!

 Scarier than Nostradamus's profecies
1. First record that you bought (be honest)
Alby: The first one I got with my own money (I saved for weeks!) was a vinyl of 'The Final Countdown', by Europe, I was 7. You asked me to be honest! (laughs).
Daniel: I was more or less the same age as Alby when I bought my first tapes (yes, I am that old). I bought 6 tapes by The Beatles looking for ‘Yesterday’ because I didn’t know its name at the time.
Cris: I believe I was eleven years old and my mother gave me some money… and I bought a copy of 'Nevermind' by Nirvana. I was in love with Kurt Cobain.
Sergio: My first recollection of a proofed purchase with my own Money is for a VHS, 'The synchronicity concert' by The Police. My player had a poor quality copy of it at home that had already made me decide that I wanted to play drums.

We had to choose the pic, but we'll keep the secret...  
2. First and last concert you have attended (be honest too!)
Alby: The first concert I recall attending to was Miguel Rios (big Spanish act back in the 80s) during his Rock ‘n’ Rios Tour, although I may have attended way more before that time and I just don’t remember them. My parents used to take me to concerts from a very early age. The last ones were U2 in Barcelona and Dave Matthews Band in Madrid, both during the same weekend.
Daniel: The first concert I attended to was Suede. The concert started at midnight but we were there by seven p.m. And the last one was Patti Smith, it was a great concert.
Cris: Dani is lying because I know that his first concert was Emilio Aragón, near his house (laughs). I don’t remember my first concert… maybe a concert by Los Sabandeños at Teatro Pérez Galdos’, here in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The last was one was a week ago: Japoneses Dos here in Las Palmas too.
Sergio: The first one was Luz Casal, and the last one was Asian Dub Foundation at WOMAD Fuerteventura. 

Ejem, ejem better not to comment!
3. Guilty pleasure (song/band you shouldn’t like but you do, yes, it’s the embarrassing question)
Alby: I guess I have quite a few guilty pleasures, such as Abba, The Bee Gees or ELO. Or maybe I shouldn’t feel that guilty about it, should I? (laughs).
Daniel: I’ve always wanted to make a tribute in one of my songs to the opening credits of “Deep throat”
Cris: I really couldn’t tell.
Sergio: Like Alby, I have plenty of time for Abba and the ELO; I´m also willing to defend a couple of songs by Lady Gaga, but only if you force me to.

4. Most precious music item you own (collector mode on)
Alby: I’m really proud -being a record collector- to have our last album 'Souvenirs' on vinyl as a part of my collection. But collector mode on it could be a copy of Queen’s 'A Night at the Opera' dedicated by Brian May or the box set reissue of Peter Gabriel’s 'So' also by the man himself.
Daniel: A 1966 Lp by The Beatles.
Sergio: I grew up as a proud member of the CD generation, so I don´t think that any of the ítems from my Collection has an Amazing value other than the music that it contains. The whole mono recordings by the Beatles are something to hold on tight to, and also the beautiful editions of  'The complete Motown Singles', of which I own seven volumes (now, if I were to find the long out of print Volume six, that would certainly be a valuable item)

5. Favorite lyrics (not yours)
Alby: 'Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see'. You just can’t fail with The Beatles, right?
Daniel: 'La cobardía es asunto de los hombres no de los amantes' by Silvio Rodriguez, which means 'Being coward is a matter of men, not lovers'. And another one is 'who wants to live forever, when love must die?', by Queen.
Yes indeed, everybody knows...
Cris:True love will find you in the end, you'll find out just who was your friend, don’t be sad, I know you will, but don’t give up until, true love finds you in the end’ by Daniel Johnston. Easy and clear.
Sergio: 'Everybody knows that you've been faithful / give or take a night or two / Everybody knows you've been discreet / But there were so many people you just had to meet / Without your clothes / And everybody knows', by Leonard Cohen; in Spanish I could pick this one by Josele Santiago, from Los Enemigos: 'He debido llegar ya, he debido de llegar. Sí, porque al abrir la puerta allí estaba yo viendo la tele con mi mujer, conmigo y con mi mujer'.

6. Musician/s you would like to meet (should be alive, for obvious reasons, but you can choose a dead one too)
Alby: I’d love to have the chance to speak to Nels Cline, guitarist of Wilco, because I’m a great fan of his playing and his approach to the instrument. But I’d love to have a nice conversation with Dave Grohl too. I think that guy has one of the most brilliant minds in music nowadays and he has such wide knowledge of music that it has to be awesome to share a coffee or something with him while chatting.
Daniel: I would like to have met Serge Gainsbourg and Lucio Battisti. I think they were very good song writers and I think we are like-minded.
Cris: I’d like to know Serge Gainsbourg, drink some whisky and smoke some Gitanes with him.
Sergio: I can´t think of anyone more huggable and interesting than Leonard Cohen.

Saints the great Aramburu painted 
7. Favorite artwork album (not yours)
Alby: Spinal Tap’s 'Smell The Glove' (laughs) Nah, just kidding. I really loved Blur’s artwork for their last record. So cool! I don’t have a favorite though.
Daniel: 'Between the Buttons' by The Rolling Stones.
Cris: I really like the artworks of Javier Aramburu, especially the ones for Los Planetas: ‘Unidad de desplazamiento’ and ‘Encuentro con entidades’.
Sergio: I wouldn´t be able to pick a single favourite one. The one I´ve appreciated the most this year is 'Why make sense', by Hot Chip, and for some reason, while I was writing this I thought of 'Abbatoir blues/The lyre of Orpheus', by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.

May the 'original' force be with you
8. Books or movies? Depending on your answer recommend us one (trick: you can choose both) 
Alby: If books, the Game of Thrones saga (so much fun in those pages), if movies, Star Wars (the original one, aka Episode IV). I saw that movie on VHS when I was 5 and I’m still shocked!
Daniel: 'One hundred years of solitude', 'Cien años de soledad' by Gabriel García Márquez. It’s a book you should read at least eight times.
Cris: Books and movies!!! It’s very difficult to choose! A book: ‘Ensayo sobre la ceguera’ by José Saramago. A film: ‘Les 400 coups’ by François Truffaut.

9. Song (of yours) you are most proud of
Alby: Probably 'Toute cette lumière', from our second album. To me that’s the best example of co-writing we’ve had in the band so far.
Daniel: 'De profundis Clamavi'. I wrote it in 30 seconds.
Cris: 'Chloè'. A sound impact with three chords.
Sergio: In terms of how they ended up being arranged and recorded, all of the above, plus 'Chloè' and 'Arabian nights'.

10. What does it mean indie for you? (yes, the “serious question”)
Alby: This is not mine, I am copying from Sergio here, but to me it means “asking for favours”.
Daniel: It means creative freedom whichever the style is.
Cris: We do what we want, when we want, where we want… without conditions.
Sergio: There you go, Alby said it for me. To quote the great Kermit the frog, it´s not easy being green, and being indie is not much easier. It´s also good fun, though.

11. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 
Alby: I’d love to be touring the world with The Birkins, still making records and hopefully reaching a wider audience with our music.
Daniel: if I knew it, I’d become a fortune teller and make millions. But I hope we will get better and better, time will tell.
Cris: Touring with The Birkins!!!!

                                                                                                                      Zillion thanks The Birkins!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Discoverer 128: new indie findings

We go into darker and rawer sounds our discoverer series this weekend. Enjoy the three blasts you are about to hear!

Protomartyr. Hailing from Detroit, Michigan, this quartet formed in 2008 from the ashes of band Butt Babies, were three of its members performed for a while until they expanded into their current line-up and transformed into Protomartyr.  The group released debut album 'No Passion All Technique' in 2012 via Urinal Cake Records, which was followed by EP 'Colpi Proibiti' (also known as the 'Baseball Bat Ep' in the same year by X! Records. Tours and Festivals begun and they quickly put out sophomore record 'Under Color of Official Right'  released in 2014 via Hardly Art. The buzz was definetely on, something that 'The Agent Intellect', out since this October is propelling to such great heights. With a reason. Bleak  and tense post-punk with hints of punk, recalling heavyweights as Pere Ubu, Wire, The Fall or The Walkmen's roughest moments, with Joe Casey's laconic and straightforward vocals delivering bitter and emotionally draining lyrics, the menacing guitar lines of Greg Ahee, the pushing beat of Scott Davidson bass and the propulsive drums of Alex Leonard. Join the martyrdom...

Royal Headache. Cross the Ocean to land in Sydney to meet this punk rock & garage outfit and garage formed in 2008. With cassettes surfacing during their first three years of activity we can say their first offical release arrived in 2010 with self-titled 7"via R.I.P Society, that preceded eponymous album a year later. Another 7", 'Stand and Stare' released by Matador in 2013  anticipated what was about to come, a brilliant force of nature in the form of sophomore album 'High', out on What's Your Rupture? since this August. It's a very unusual, refreshing blend: the primeval nature and adrenalinitic urgency of punk packed with the emotional arrest, dare I say soul? intensity of Shogun's vocals, and the inmense hooks provided by a frenzied guitar line, an acoustic rendition or the surprisingly delicate couple of notes of a sparse organ. It's a moving record, one that gets you high and gets you places... Do not miss it.
Maff.  And we end our trip in Santiago de Chile (first band from Chile featured on the Blog, so happy!) to meet this promising quartet. Formed originally in 2012 by childhood friends and punk-rockers Ricardo (Richi) Gómez and Nicolás (Nek) Colombres they became a full combo with the addition of Martín Columbres and Gonzalo (Talo) Correa. Their only release to date is their self-titled, self-recorded and self-published mini-album, out since March 2015. Eight powerful and experimental tunes, connecting the haze and open spaces of shoegaze myths like Ride or Slowdive with a heavier, rockier side, one where Pixies or Sonic Youth easily come to mind. I know, big names... for a big debut. Keep an eye on them!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Bloodbuzzed Jukebox Week 79

We are in the middle of a weekend full of music, with the celebration of a new BIS Festival which began yesterday night. And what a better way to ignite the music engines than a new chapter of our regular TOP TEN Jukebox series, today heavy on exciting discoveries and full of intriguing sounds, from shoegaze to post-punk to tropical rhythms, plus the flamboyant second single from Tindersticks. All songs are available at our SoundcloudLet's defend culture, see you at the gigs!

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   Week 52  Week 53  Week 54    Week 55  
Week 56   Week 57   Week 58  Week 59   Week 60 
Week 61   Week 62   Week 63  Week 64  Week 65 
Week 66   Week 67   Week 68  Week 69   Week 70 
Week 71   Week 72   Week 73  Week 74   Week 75
Week 76   Week 77   Week 78

Thursday, November 19, 2015

"I Hate Christian Laettner", the devil in blue?

I Hate Christian Laettner

"Blame" Contra for "making me" watch more basketball documentaries... But this one came out of the blue really. I remember pretty well. Very shocking. Who was the unknown pale kid posing alongside the great of the greatest, the DreamTeam? Why was he among the 12 selected for the 92' Olympic team? The freak on me quickly gathered some information: Christian Laettner was one of the major stars coming from NCAA ever, leader of the Duke University team that made four consecutive Final Fours and won two national championships. Impressive to say the least. What a terrific player he must be. But in Barcelona he didn't play a lot (to be polite) and his NBA career never met the expectations, so Laettner became "the odd one" on an incredible moment for basketball lovers here in Spain... and not much more. Not enough to be remembered.

That's the main problem with this otherwise highly recommendable sports documentary. I can't  really connect with the powerful story because, for Spaniards, Christian Laettner was mostly unknown (back then the chances to watch NCAA games was really hard, no Internet then, kids, can you imagine?). It's a shame, because 'I Hate Christian Laettner' is a very interesting take on a polarizing player, and an even more absorbing attempt to discuss how and why a person can be the main target of the hate from so many people. Remember this happened way before social networks began its predatory and nonsense hate.

Director Rory Karpf wisely structures the documentary on questions raised to be debated upon, making 'I Hate Christian Laettner' easy to follow when it had the risk of became a filmed discussion such an abstract thing as the reasons for hating someone. We see the interviewed people (including himself and his family and Coach K, Mike Krzyzewski, who has a special, moving bound Laettner) have their say on whether Laettner deserved the many negative definitions/accusations he received: cocky, privileged, bully, pretty boy, arrogant. Some, as the ones related with the economic side are quickly dismounted, while others reveal what masses can easily build with a couple of prejudices given, mainly with regards on his looks (he looked like a guy from 'Melrose Place' or '90210', but those were the aesthetics for many back then, on clear opposition of the Fab-Five from Michigan University looks and behaviour) or with the elitist university on which he studied (heavily hated) and played for. He became a symbol, a negative one. It's a very powerful narrative. We get a glimpse of what lies behind all the fierce, bizarrely intense dislike on him. Social, ethnic, class angst, and a brutal example of media construction imagery.

There were basketball reasons too, and that's when the film offers its share of action... and doubt on the character. Laettner was a terrific player, capable of doing so many things on court, but also a tough player and teammate, unafraid of getting nasty and aggressive (the chapter with friend Bobby Hurley is almost scary) if that was he thought it was needed. Capable of stomping on the chest of a downed player, then making the most dramatic shot in the history of NCAA basketball to win the championship. Every single person is more complex than what looks, stats, prejudices and media might say...

A very enjoyable documentary with an unusual depth, even for someone who didn't know almost anything about "the issue" (the hate) which, at the end, asks a great question to people. Do we need someone to hate?

SCORE: 6,75/10

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Bloodbuzzed Jukebox Week 78

This playlist was ready to be published on Saturday morning, but after what happened in Paris we didn't feel it was the right thing to do. But when you think about it, terrorists, as it always happens with anyone whose only argument is violence, are afraid of culture, of art, of music, of literature. Because culture is about discovering, learning, knowing and acquiring the tools to form your own thoughts, tastes, choices. Nothing more scary for the ignorants, the ones who only speak the language of violence. So here's our TOP TEN Jukebox series. Hope you enjoy the music... and seek for more. Music never stops. All these songs are also available at our Soundcloud. Thank you.

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   Week 52  Week 53  Week 54    Week 55  
Week 56   Week 57   Week 58  Week 59   Week 60 
Week 61   Week 62   Week 63  Week 64  Week 65 
Week 66   Week 67   Week 68  Week 69   Week 70 
Week 71   Week 72   Week 73  Week 74   Week 75
Week 76   Week 77

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Discoverer 127: new indie findings

All-female discoverer series this weekend! Three very diverse takes on pop you have to hear!

Knife Pleats. My beloved Rose Melberg is back! The indie-pop legend (The Softies, Go Sailor, Tiger Trap) has a new and extremely exciting project, the latest from a pivotal artist after the recent Brave Irene and PUPS, aside of going solo. The leading part of a quartet that includes Kaity McWhinney and Tracey Vath from Love Cuts, plus drummer Gregor Phillips, Melberg formed the group because she had a new batch of songs that she felt really needed a full band treatment. What a wise choice! 'Hat Bark Beach', released by our friends at Jigsaw Records on late September is a killer. Fuzzed pop, joyful and alive with Rose's trademark vocals, her unmatched talent for melodies and vocal harmonies. What a comeback!

La Luz.  Close ride from British Columbia to Seattle, WA,, to meet this quartet formed in the summer of 2012 and leaded by Shana Cleveland, which was already featured in the Blog with her other project with The Sandcastles. Very quickly they came out with 'Damp Face', self-released debut EP that September. A year later arrived 'It's Alive' first LP  on Hardly Art Records. After and EP with Old Lacy Bed and the 7" 'Brainwash', since August we can enjoy their sophomore album 'Weirdo Shrine', produced by Ty Segall. Vintage surf-pop (it's hard not to think on Link Wray) but infused with an urgency and vibrant energy that is automatically contagious. Infinite guitars, celestial vocals in perfect harmony and vibes from distant, sunny places. Turn on the bright lights!

Martha Ffion. And we cross the Atlantic Ocean to meet the Irish, but based in Glasgow, artist Claire Martha Ffion McKay. She started to make her a name with irresistible debut EP 'Go', out in October 2014. The singer-songwriter approach became something else when Ffion starting performing with a full band, sharing bills with the likes of Honeyblood or Jessica Pratt. Now the three first tunes have had two wonderful follow-ups this year with the single ‘No Applause’ / ‘Lead Balloon’, out in May on Lost Map Records and, more recently with the shiny 'So Long', out now on Turnstile Records. Think on Angel Olsen and Nancy Sinatra, or a less-slacker version of our beloved Courtney Barnett in love with the Shangri-Las. Pop with retro and surf vibes delivered with a punchier, hazier edge without losing any of their arresting charms. More soon please!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

'Magic & Bird: a courtship of rivals', 2 were the colours

Magic & Bird: a courtship of rivals

I just finished reading 'Cuando éramos los mejores' the Spanish translation of Jackie MacMullan's book 'When the game was ours', published by my dear friends of Contra (a publishing house focused on music and sports, amazing people, amazing books), so I thought it was the right time to watch this TV documentary broadcast on HBO, a film partially inspired by the book (MacMullan is one of the main experts interviewed here). What a pleasant week. A double feature of some of the best basketball EVER (arguably the best ever) played. Read, watch, and remember a much beloved time of my childhood-early teenage years being abducted by these two titans. My superheroes.

The documentary is a must for anyone who loves basketball, as it does a fine job of chronicling the unforgettable careers and, foremost, the unmatched rivalry between two of the biggest basketball legends EVER (and unarguably two of their best players). A tale of competition, obsession, respect, friendship and passion for a game that got saved, redefined, blossomed and rocketed to a planetary sport (the greatest one) thanks to them.

From tracing their humble origins in East Lansing, Michigan and French Lick, Indiana, to their first meeting at an international tournament to the first encounter as the greatest rivals at 1979 NCAA Basketball Championship Game, to the mythical Celtic-Lakers finals of the 80s, the story here is simply memorable. Not just the titles (5 for Magic, 3 for Bird), not just the epic of their triumphs, not just the way the saw the game (passing the ball, making their teammates better, always aiming to compete and win, day-by-day) not just the stats and the individual titles, but the sense of both unmatchable players constantly living parallel lives while pushing themselves to their limits. Reaching for the papers to check the numbers of the other, watching their games and getting frantic at the others wins. And, after the Converse commercial, even sharing a dramatic shift of their careers (back injury for Larry, VIH for Earvin) that forced both giants to cut short their formidable trajectories.  

Like a positive version of 'The prestige' a 'Courtship of rivals' does a fantastic job on portraying how a confrontation of incredible talents sparked a whole league to another level, and how a lasting friendship was built against all odds, against being opposite characters. It also explores the racial issues that were an important factor of the rivalry among the fans ('The Great White Hope' versus 'The Hollywood Smile', the redneck and the glamorous) and it's surprising, and refreshing, how both players haven't got anything to do with it. Bird in particular destroys the whole argument in his laconic explanation. They were also bigger than the media, league, their teams and social conventions & prejudices.

The movie doesn't rely on many outside opinions: MacMullan, Pat Riley, Kevin McHale, Michael Cooper, Magic's sister, Bird's brother, a few sportcasters. Simply there's no need for it, as the film has both main actors, keen to tell it in their own words. Magic with his trademark huge smile on his face and his smooth voice, Bird trying to dodge the camera, utterly shy, scared of revealing too much. And director's Ezra Edelman solid work overall is rewarded by a couple of mind blowing moments. When Magic can't held tears after recalling how he felt after Bird called him on the phone when he knew about his VIH infection. And when Bird says how much he liked Earvin's persona (out of the 'Magic' character). That's something than can be acted. Here's a real human, transcendent bound, that goes way beyond the ball.

But, as it usually happens, the book is better. Of course being such a huge basketball fan and such a devotee of both players, I would have loved much more game footage, but I assume Edelman considered that was already known, or easy to seek and watch. But that's secondary. The documentary fails short compared with the book because the second goes deeper in the minds and thoughts of Earvin and Larry, and MacMullan takes them (and us) on an exciting, rich, many times dark and tough too, trip. One where stats, plays, games, championships are not just entertainment, but life itself. The author delves in the VIH question, digging on Magic's marriage and exploring the icon's feelings about the reject and disappointing behaviour of so-called friends (Isaiah Thomas, Karl Malone, still hate them). The Barcelona Olympics (the question on legacy, the role of Michael Jordan) and the latest chapters of their relationship are quickly skimmed on the film, while the book has time to talk about Bird's and Magic's experiences as coaches and managers. Still, a great documentary about two immortal sport legends, and how they built that legend. Together. Another miracle done by basketball. 
SCORE: 7,25/10

Friday, November 6, 2015

The Bloodbuzzed Jukebox Week 77

The stars have aligned this week as our TOP TEN Jukebox series looks like a full constellation of them. The Hermit Crabs (what a pleasure hearing Mel singing again)! Slowdive (what a live rendition of 'Avalyn')! My beloved Basia Bulat! My dear Eleanor Friedberger! Strawberry Whiplash! DIIV! Flowers! Most desired comebacks to start November in the best possible way! Of course, all these songs are also available at our Soundcloud, so please join 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   Week 50  
Week 51   Week 52  Week 53  Week 54    Week 55  
Week 56   Week 57   Week 58  Week 59   Week 60 
Week 61   Week 62   Week 63  Week 64  Week 65 
Week 66   Week 67   Week 68  Week 69   Week 70 
Week 71   Week 72   Week 73  Week 74   Week 75
Week 76