Category Archives: Music

Burial & Four Tet – Moth


It was kinda inevitable that I would love this as it’s Four Tet, but his collaborations can be a bit hit and miss. This, however, is perfect and is definitely one of my favourite songs this year. Nevermind the incredible video. Watch it, love it.

Bring on the next Four Tet album.

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Yo Blair! An 00’s Playlist

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Pitchfork and DiS (ish) have made their end of decade lists. To fuel my own love of making playlists I gave it a go and began, thinking it would be a swizz. How wrong I was. This has been a great decade for music and at times I had to ask for help, partly due to my non-existant memory and also because a ceiling fell on my computer midway through the decade and wiped my i-tunes. This is not a counter-list to theirs, they have a far more music knowledge than me, it’s a smattering of songs I adore and those that have meant a lot to me over the last 9 1/2 years. I have been completely honest so inevitably there’s the odd suspect choice in there.

The list is in no order other than the one I wished to listen to it in, but just to throw it out there my favourite songs (again in no order) of this decade are I Feel It All by Feist, I Will Possess Your Heart by Death Cab For Cutie, Recurring by Bonobo (from the Live Sessions ep), Hey Ya! by Outkast, Romantic Rights (Love From Below Re-edit) by Death From Above 1979, The Weight of My Words (Four Tet Remix) by Kings of Convenience and, the most likely contender for No. 1 were I forced to choose, She Move She by Four Tet.

nb. One thing this undertaking showed me was that it seems I tend to like the first song from albums. Strange.

1.    Broken Social Scene – Windsurfing Nation
2.    Built to Spill – Goin’ Against Your Mind
3.    Hot Hot Heat – Talk To Me, Dance With Me
4.    Bloc Party – Like Eating Glass
5.    Friendly Fires – Jump in the Pool
6.    Jamie Lidell – When I come Back Around
7.    Feist – I Feel It All
8.    Jimmy Eat World – Salt Sweat Sugar
9.    The (International) Noise Conspiracy – Let’s Make History
10.    Panic At The Disco – But It’s Better If You Do
11.    Weezer - This is Such a Pity
12.    Muse – Supermassive Black Hole
13.    Rilo Kiley – Portions For Foxes
14.    Mates of State – Goods (All In Your Head)
15.    Modest Mouse – The View
16.    Say Anything – Admit It!!!
17.    Death From Above 1979 – Romantic Rights (Love From Below Re-edit)
18.    Alkaline Trio – Private Eye
19.    At The Drive-In – One Armed Scissor
20.    Rage Against The Machine – Renegades of Funk
21.    The Roots – Seed (2.0)
22.    Head Automatica – Beating Heart Baby
23.    Handsome Boy Modeling School – If It Wasn’t For You
24.    Four Tet – She Move She
25.    The Shins – Sleeping Lessons
26.    Cinematic Orchestra – Man With A Movie Camera
27.    Battles – SZ2
28.    The Books – All Bad Ends All
29.    Phoenix – Girlfriend
30.    Cat Power – He War
31.    Hanne Hukkelberg – Do Not As I Do
32.    Grizzly Bear – On A Neck, On A Spit
33.    The Postal Service – Clark Gable
34.    Kings of Convenience – The Weight of My Words (Four Tet Remix)
35.    Death Cab For Cutie – I Will Possess Your Heart
36.    Bonobo – Recurring
37.    Blink-182 – I Miss You
38.    Queens of the Stone Age – In The Fade
39.    The Streets – Same Old Thing
40.    Dilated Peoples – Pay Attention
41.    Hymie’s Basement – 21st Century Pop Song
42.    Mos Def – Umi Says
43.    Talib Kweli – Get By
44.    Dead Prez – Hip Hop
45.    Gnarls Barkley – Crazy
46.    LCD Soundsystem – Disco Infiltrator
47.    RJD2 – Good Times Roll Pt. 2
48.    Amerie – 1 Thing
49.    The Rapture – House of Jealous Lovers
50.    Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Dance With The Night
51.    Foals – Hummer
52.    Pretty Girls Make Graves – Speakers Push the Air
53.    Art Brut – Good Weekend
54.    CSS – Let’s Make Love and Listen to Death From Above
55.    DJ Vadim – Terrorist
56.    Tom Vek – I Ain’t Saying My Goodbyes
57.    Outkast – Hey Ya!
58.    Christina Aguilera – Aint No Other Man
59.    Youngblood Brass Band – The Movement
60.    The Dead 60s – Riot Radio
61.    Justice – Phantom
62.    Destiny’s Child – Lose My Breath
63.    The Walkmen – The Rat
64.    Deftones – Knife Prty
65.    Mice Parade – Sneaky Red
66.    Kelis feat. Andre 3000 – Millionaire
67.    Coconut Records – Nighttiming
68.    Cut Copy – Feel The Love
69.    Yeasayer – Sunrise
70.    TV On The Radio – Staring At The Sun
71.    Sia – Academia
72.    Beirut – Mount Wroclai (Idle Days)
73.    Thom Yorke – Black Swan
74.    Animal Collective – My Girls
75.    Hot Chip – Shining Escalade
76.    Sufjan Stevens – Chicago
77.    The Whitest Boy Alive – Don’t Give Up
78.    Pharrell feat. Jay-Z – Frontin’
79.    Psapp – Happy Lamb
80.    Regina Spektor – Après Moi
81.    Zero 7 – In The Waiting Line
82.    Why? – The Vowels Pt. 2
83.    Ben Folds – The Ascent of Stan
84.    The Gossip – Don’t Make Waves
85.    Daft Punk – Aerodynamic
86.    Madcon – Beggin’
87.    DJ Shadow feat. Mos Def – Six Days – Remix
88.    Justice vs. Simian – We Are Your Friends
89.    Soulwax – E Talking
90.    Peaches – Tombstone, Baby
91.    MGMT – Kids
92.    Fingathing – You Fly Me
93.    Ratatat – Lex
94.    Radiohead – Everything in It’s Right Place
95.    Caribou – Bees
96.    Justin Timberlake – What Goes Around
97.    Ed Harcourt – She Fell Into My Arms
98.    Yo La Tengo – Pass The Hatchet, I Think I’m Goodkind
99.    Boards of Canada – Dayvan Cowboy
100.    Explosions In The Sky – First Breath After Coma

Spotify playlist here

Painfully absent are the following that haven’t yet made it onto Spotify:
Supersystem – Miracle
Plantlife – When She Smiles She Lights the Sky
Minus the Bear – Fine + 2pts
The Sea and Cake – Sound and Vision
Mice Parade – Focus on the Rollercoaster
Evil Nine feat. Aesop Rock – Crooked
!!! – Me and Guiliani Down By The Schoolyard
Arcade Fire – Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out)
Prefuse 73 – The Color of Tempo
Why? – 500 Fingernails
Fingathing – Drunken Master 2
edIT – Ashtray
Electric President – Insomnia President
Ben Gibbard – You Remind of Home

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Pitchfork Festival

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I have to say I was a little apprehensive about going to a festival on my own, I envisaged myself standing in amongst thousands of people and taking to no-one for three days. Luckily my pessimism was proved wrong and I had the best festival experience I have ever had.

Pitchfork is a fairly small festival but it just gets it right in every way (I am told the only downside was the drinks queue, but I managed to avoid that). Within 10 minutes of arriving I had befriended an incredibly cool photographer from Yahoo Music called Taleen. After seeing her disappear into the photo pit for Yo La Tengo I knew I should probably get my press pass sorted, which luckily I did.

The next morning I dashed to a photography wholesalers and persuaded them to lend me a lens, which was tricky as I didn’t have the required $2000 spare on my credit card as a deposit… gulp, but they were kind and let me loose with one. Photographing a festival was one of the toughest things I have ever had to photograph. You are limited to the first three songs, and combined with ever changing light and the scrum of the other photographers, if you aren’t used to photographing fast you will be after.

Seeing bands from the photo pit was incredible, you are obviously closer than anyone else, but with a zoom lens you view the band from an almost intimate perspective. I tried to photograph everything, and although that meant missing the rest of a set, I saw many more bands than I would have done.

3752779856_38cb5187feMy partner in crime, Taleen

For some reason Taleen and I had also been given VIP passes and so we got to spend our time backstage. It was very different to what I was expecting. Obviously better toilets and free booze (although I do not recommend Sparks, alcoholic-lucozade certainly keeps you going, but you feel very strange in the morning). Taleen loved approaching people in bands and set about talking to anyone and everyone, I’m awful at remembering who people are and this worked in my favour as I didn’t become a blithering idiot. I did manage to maintain my ability to say daft things at the worst times but I think (hope) my accent allowed me to get away with it.

There were a few bands that I was more excited about getting to see so close, rather than taking their picture, and Grizzly Bear were definitely one of those. There was a brief panic when my camera ran out of battery (amateur, I know) but I had also taken my Pentax film camera and bizarrely those ended up being the photos I like the most.

Flaming Lips was certainly an experience.We knew they would be the hardest to photograph as the scrum would be the most competitive. Taleen wasn’t really up for it but I was too curious to miss it and dragged her over. The first set of photographers had been let and and there were hundreds of them squished into the few metres the photographers get. We were held back and told that everyone was only getting one song. We obviously missed the ‘one song’ that included Wayne Coyne coming out onto the stage through a backdrop of a woman with her legs open in his trademark bouncy ball and out onto the crowd. However it was a great sight to see and when we finally got in I was thankful that we only had the one song as the previously courteous photo pit had turned into a feeding frenzy with elbows being thrown left, right and centre. Although I am not a huge Flaming Lips fan, they certainly put on a show and the atmosphere they created was the perfect way to end the festival.

If you are more interested in reading about the bands than my daft experience see below:

My review for Drowned in Sound is here – Close to P4K-tion: DiS does the Pitchfork Music Festival

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It was wonderful being back in Chicago, I managed to have nearly two days either side of the festival and was taken to the most amazing places to eat by my Chicago-an friend Kevin. Hopefully the line-up for Pitchfork will be as good next year and I can hotfoot it over there again.

The rest of my photos are in this fancy slideshow below:

and look, there I am….

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90s Playlist

90s

Having taken a little foray into Drowned in Sound’s message boards of late I got a little consumed by the challenge to make a nineties playlist for Spotifriday. There are many missing but this was a quick list of those that have stood the test of time.

He Got Game – Public Enemy
Cross Bones Style – Cat Power
Runnin – The Pharcyde
You Got Me (feat. Erykah Badu) – The Roots
Alameda – Elliott Smith
The Good Life – Weezer
Lipgloss – Pulp
Inside Out – Eve 6
Hit – The Sugarcubes
Electric Relaxation – A Tribe Called Quest
Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away) – Deftones
New Noise – Refused
Zero – The Smashing Pumpkins
Kitty – The Presidents of the United States of America
If… – The Bluetones
Wake Up – Rage Against the Machine
Naked Eye – Luscious Jackson
Where’s Summer B.? – Ben Folds Five
Everything to Everyone – Everclear
Last Goodbye – Jeff Buckley
Angel – Massive Attack
What It’s Like – Everlast
Drive – Incubus
To The End – Blur
Diesel Power – Prodigy
Sweetness – Jimmy Eat World
Showbiz – Muse
Everlong – Foo Fighters
Heart-Shaped Box – Nirvana
Dammit – Blink-182
Sometimes – Les Rythmes Digitales
Improvise – Jurassic 5
The Force – Aim
Organ Donor – DJ Shadow
Your Lucky Day in Hell – Eels
Loser – Beck
The Projects – Handsome Boy Modeling School
Sabotage – Beastie Boys
All I Need – Air
Tennessee – Arrested Development
A Life Less Ordinary – Ash
Ode to the Big Sea – The Cinematic Orchestra
Red Right Hand – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Carnival – The Cardigans

Spotify link – here

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Why? at Cargo

We went to see Why? at Cargo on Monday night. They were absolutely brilliant. I was determined to take a roll of film and so casually manoevered (gently pushed) my way to the front.

Their photographer was there, trapped by the side of the stage and in some jammy swapping I managed to get myself at the side of the stage. I’m really happy with the photos. The rest of my Why Photos are here

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