Jukeboxparables

The Cribs @ Manning Bar, SYDNEY 19-02-2010 Review + Rant

Posted in Music, Review by jukeboxparables on February 20, 2010

I don’t want to start reviewing live shows on here really, but last nights show will be the exception because, well I need to get this rant about this band off my chest. So let me indulge;

I was actually pondering if me and my drunken posse of friends were going to be the only people turning up to this show. The general rule of thumb is if a band is Indie and British they usually carry a truckload of hype wherever they may travel, in most cases un-deserved. As far as The Cribs go, it’s quite astonishing to me they’re not filling 5,000 “seat” venues. There is no hype, It’s beyond me how they’ve managed to fly under the radar in Australia and many other places. The Manning Bar being a small-mid sized venue (capacity 900) and It wasn’t sold out last night.

Sure they’ve had a bit of exposure in the UK, but it took 2 full-length albums for the mainstream media to START to take notice. It’s probably a combination of various factors varying from indifference; people simply ‘not listening’ and painting them with the brush of ‘just another brit-pop band’ to the ignorant and mind-numbingly stupid; per PITCHFORK MEDIA and their review of second LP “The New Fellas” which stated the band were essentially a rip off of The Strokes. This is a fundamental and glaring mis-understanding of the history of music. The Strokes didn’t invent Garage Rock. It’s the equivalent of saying The Ramones are a rip off of The Sex Pistols (with UK v USA rivalry noted, hence the analogy) The Cribs have their own list of classic garage/punk/post-punk influences however varying from understated bands Orange Juice and Comet Gain to Johnny Thunders, The Ramones and Nirvana to name just a few.

Not many bands/people understand those latter artists for what they were, most see/hear/think ra-ra-ra + violence mixed in with leather jackets / tight jeans or flannel. A band like The Ramones were really about; 1-2-3-4 cover up our inner frailties and love of classic melody/pop/hooks with an assault of raw energy, Nirvana likewise.

The Cribs get this, it comes naturally.

The greatness of “The Strokes – Is This It”, noted (and voted album of the decade by NME) “The Cribs – The New Fellas” is just simply a better album. It does everything “Is This It” does (down to it’s raw, lo-fi and real ‘splashing in the sun’ innocence) and then just does so much more. The Strokes could never write a song like “The Wrong Way To Be” let alone anything like the songs off The Cribs third LP “Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever” which is testament to the growth of the band. Any similarities with other classic lo-fi garage/punk rock bands was left behind with the release of MNWNW. Hit Single “Men’s Needs” gave the band real exposure and is a staple on Indie dance-floors the world over, the problem being most DJ’s have NFI and don’t play anything else by the band and hence most Indie hipsters I talk to either say Who? or “Oh yeah that Men’s Needs song”. The Cribs are so much more.

Take track “Be Safe” off MNWNW for example, the track features a collaboration with Sonic Youth guitarist/vocalist Lee Ranaldo, who contributes a chilling and blunt spoken word lamentation about modern day living. It’s 6minutes long and has a building drumroll leading to a final chorus near the end that can only be described as ‘epic’. Hold on? Weren’t The Cribs a lo-fi innocent raw melody pop garage band. Where the hell did this come from?

It’s called progression and growth without loosing your core sound/values and without completely abandoning your original style. The amount of bands that have pulled this off in ALL of music history I can honestly count on one hand. Think about this… think about one of your favourite ‘big’ bands and compare their first album to their most recent/last. Either it’s the same or it’s unrecognisable. I’m not saying bands don’t grow, I’m saying they grow and essentially sound the same, or grow and completely shift away from their early sound.

When The Cribs latest LP came out late 2009 I thought my little theory as stated above had been shattered. Sure they managed to pull it off after 3 albums, maybe it was a fluke, maybe it was all ex- Smiths/ModestMouse guitar god Johnny Marr’s fault?

Their 4th LP “Ignore The Ignorant” is altogether more clean and neater sounding than MNWNW. So have they broken my little ‘growth rule’ and abandoned their raw low-fi history? Well yes and no. MNWNW was already a step-up from purposely going for a lo-fi sound but it still had that rawness and more growth than a pumpkin on steroids. Johnny Marr joined the band officially in 2008/09 this automatically broke the rule of the ‘classic’ 3 piece band formula. But how did that change effect the sound?

On the first few listens, it all sounded ‘too safe’ for me. The clarity and neatness of the songs seemed to me like they’d gone too far away from their previous album. Or so it seemed, perhaps it was just the production? Perhaps it’s just the next logical growth step-up. I wouldn’t know until I saw it all come together.

Well last night, along with my apprehension of me/friends being the only people there due to everyone seemingly not knowing much about the band. I was also wondering if the band would sound “too safe” if the new songs would stand out like sore thumbs. If Johnny Marr’s well known docile stage presence had rubbed off on the band?, had they forgotten how to be punk? Forgotten how to turn a standing crowd into a chorus chanting riot? Or was that riot chanting chorus?

They kicked off with Ignore The Ignorant opener We Were Aborted and pretty much all I can conclude after that was people yelling at their top of their lungs, dancing, shouting, people crowd surfing and falling happily to their deaths over the barrier arms in the air… still singing. It was an utter fucking blur. I then noticed near perforated ear drums, these guys were loud. I then noticed Johnny Marr swooning about the stage like a possessed mad-man guitar in awkward positions aimed at the sky, or some random point in the crowd. We’ve all seen him in Smiths footage, I’ve seen him live in Modest Mouse… it was nothing like this. The Jarman brothers have rubbed off on Marr rather than the other way around. He’s apparently 20years their senior, but last night he looked their age easily matching the energy levels. We’d later joke that he’s a superhero whose super-power is un-aging immortality.

Hey Scenesters!, the crowd goes into sing-along overdrive and its only their 2nd song. It’s a lament about one of the bands early-on fascinations; Interacting with the pretentious scenester-crowd.

Then it hit me, It was utter consistency. Somehow those previously thought ‘safe’ sounding songs were now ‘full’ sounding raw numbers that slotted in the set perfectly. Old raw-riot offkey distorted song Direction slots near reserved clean-tone newy We Share The Same Skies and it works? How does it work!? Gary and Ryan (who share vocal duties) shout at their mics as if the inanimate objects themselves are their own worst enemies.

Drummer Ross stands up on the seat of his drumkit to the close of various songs making sure he can hit the crap out of those cymbals as hard as physically possible. The timing of the songs is perfect, none too slow and with the energy of some of the numbers you’d think The Cribs would get carried away and speed through things. Not a chance, they play like they’ve been doing it for decades with the energy of a band whose just kicking things off. In a way they kind of are, Johnny Marr onboard is a kick up the butt to any stale thoughts of repetition the Jarman’s might have started to aquire after doing this for eight years or so.

Interestingly Last Years Snow is played early in the set, I pictured it more of a ‘hold lighters to the sky moment’ but it yields a strong singalong with kids still ready to mosh about. Continuing the theme from Hey Scenesters! is Mirror Kissers “You aren’t allowed to say that you’re better. You aren’t allowed to say that cos you’re the hipster type” This is a straight out dig at the hipsters of the world; pretentious self obsession is everything this band is against. I’m reminded of the popular film clip for the song which is pure parody. By the time this song started, I couldn’t hear the vocals. The crowds combined singing got so loud and the crush to get to front reminded me of attending crazed metal gigs as a kid. This was Intense.

I then wrongly thought that would be the highlight and couldn’t be topped. When MNWNW opener Our Bovine Public kicked in people really did lose their shit; people began jumping the barriers to get on stage, weave between the band and launch themselves superman style into the crowd for a surf. I’m reminded of some of the better/crazy punk shows I used to attend as well some footage of fans incessantly doing this at Nirvana shows.

A break in the songs and one of the Jarman’s get on the mic to talk about something I can’t make out because Im deaf. But I do catch something along the lines of; “this next song was written over 8years ago and thousands of miles away” the crowd reacts with cries of “Wakefield, Wakefield, Wakefield” (the bands rough and tumble blur-collar hometown in Yorkshire England where they grew up, where according to an interview people would start fights with them just because they’d be carrying a guitar to practice) This band has literally fought people to do things their own way. Debut self-titled album song Another Number then kicks in. It’s utter simplicity and pop perfection is one of my favourites.

By the time Be Safe rolls around, I’m stepping away from the second row towards the back to take in the sound from a different perspective. Lee Ranaldo’s giant head is projected onto a screen behind the band leaving them in silhouette for his spoken word. Pretty good value; The Cribs an ex-Smith and a member of Sonic Youth in one night. I then realise there is actually a half-forming circle-pit starting from row 4 or so back. What the? Kids are still crowd surfing. I actually didn’t mind one bit at the several kicks to the head I copped. So many venues have banned crowd surfing, despite people normally acting like dickheads or what you might think of it. It was great to see people just completely lose it.

I’m pretty sure they closed with Ignore The Ignorant or was it City Of Bugs? which screeched to an end with waling feedback and drum crashes. I could be wrong as I’ve said it was an utter blur, even when I stepped back to try and get some air the sound was full on and completely overwhelming. There’s no getting away from this band when they’re on, the energy radiates to all corners of the venue.

Then it was all over, my friend copped a drum stick square in the forehead as people scurried to pick it up. No souvenirs for us and no-bullshit-cliched-pretendwalkoff-encore. The Cribs are the real deal and I’m going to go home and listen to Ignore The Ignorant having settled it in my mind, it is yet another level of growth for the band with no compromises.

Setlist? (from drunk memory, I’m actually certain it’s way off in bits including omissions) So leave a comment if you remember better.

We Were Aborted
Hey Scenesters!
We Share The Same Skies
Direction
Hari Kari
Last Years Snow
Mirror Kissers
Our Bovine Public
Another Number
Be Safe
Men’s Needs
Cheat On Me
Ignore The Ignorant
City Of Bugs





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2009 Triple J Hottest 100!

Posted in Music by jukeboxparables on December 25, 2009

Yes another list! But get voting in the biggest music poll on the planet: Triple J’s Hottest 100

Here’s my 10 votes, culled down from 30 or so. Making the cut from 15 was rather difficult!

Animal Collective – My Girls
Big Pink, The – Dominos
Bluejuice – Broken Leg
Cribs, The – Cheat On Me
Flight Of The Conchords – Carol Brown
Kasabian – Fire
Metric – Gimme Sympathy
Phoenix – 1901
Red Riders – Ordinary
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Heads Will Roll

And my vote for #1 for this year goes to Phoenix – 1901.

Lists Lists Lists!

Posted in Music by jukeboxparables on December 20, 2009

Is it just me or has every music / movie etc site published a ‘best of’ list in the past few weeks? It’s kind of annoying, but on the other hand it is coming to the end of the decade, so we’re seeing best of yearly lists which have been blogged about yearly of course but not many of said websites were around in 1999 so I guess it’s free market for the ‘best of decade’ lists.

Yes I’m going to cave, but I’ll do it all in ONE post. This being my uber best of music best of the decade list!

Top 10 Best Albums of the decade (in no order)
#At The Drive In – Relationship Of Command
#Tegan & Sara – The Con
#Bloc Party – Silent Alarm
#The Libertines – Up The Bracket
#Death From Above 1979 – You’re A Woman I’m A Machine
#We Are Scientists – With Love And Squalor
#The Cribs – The New Fellas
#Thom Yorke – The Eraser
#Muse – Absolution
#Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not

Top 20 Best Songs of the decade (in no order)
#The Strokes – Hard To Explain
#CSS – Let’s Make Love And Listen To Death From Above
#Thursday – Signals Over The Air
#Arcade Fire – Intervention
#Tegan & Sara – Nineteen
#Bloc Party – This Modern Love
#Death From Above 1979 – Blood On Our Hands
#At The Drive In – Pattern Against User
#The Drones – Jezebel
#The Cribs – Be Safe
#Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Maps
#We Are Scientists – Lousy Reputation
#Babyshambles – Fuck Forever
#Arctic Monkeys – When The Sun Goes Down
#Band Of Horses – The Funeral
#Sonic Youth – Or
#HARD Fi – Hard To Beat
#The White Stripes – 7 Nation Army
#Muse – Stockholm Syndrome
#Phoenix – 1901

Top 10 Best Albums of 2009
1. Johnny Foreigner – Grace And The Bigger Picture
2. Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
3. The View – Which Bitch?
4. Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion
5. The Cribs – Ignore The Ignorant
6. The Maccabees – Wall Of Arms
7. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz!
8. Metric – Fantasies
9. The Veils – Sun Gangs
10. Sonic Youth – The Eternal

EDIT:: I’m editing my top 10 albums of 2009. I’ve bumped into a bunch of albums much too late that have blown me away. So I’m changing my mind, yes I can do this. Above is the now the revised list! Next time I won’t jump the gun early! :p

In the case of Songs of the decade, I could probably just as easily choose a different 20, oh well. I’ve gone with this!

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Review: Sonic Youth – Daydream Nation

Posted in Music, Review by jukeboxparables on December 1, 2009

sydn

Ever since I decided I’d start reviewing music on this blog, Daydream Nation was in the back of my mind. Why? Simply because the mere prospect of trying to put this album into words is a salivating challenge. I’ve long thought that words are inadequate to describe music, which seems like an obvious thing to say. But not many albums out there truly convey the shortcomings of literary prose more;so than Sonic Youth’s Daydream Nation.

What is Indie?, What is New-wave?, What is No-wave? And what about that much used Umbrella term to seemingly describe everything since the 1980’s –Alternative? Most people you speak to would attribute different meanings (or at least bands) to those categories, some of which you and I would vehemently disagree with. You don’t really have to have a debate with them about it because It’s all summed up by one band on one album.

In 1988, Sonic Youth released their fifth studio album; Daydream Nation. In retrospect it’s been given shiny reviews and has a long list of accolades appearing on many ‘must have’ and ‘best of’ lists over the decades. The album was not an immediate success however as their label at the time went bust and the album was out of print for some time.

What’s going to make describing this album well so darn hard is that I feel an almost nostalgic need to delve into the history of the band, the ‘scene’ and happenings surrounding the band not only in 1988 but from their inception, if anything to highlight their growth from their self titled debut EP in 1982. But I’m going to put the burden on me; I’ll try and review it without going into all that.

But what I will delve into briefly is references; Daydream Nation connects together various themes from an expansive artistic world (the band’s various influences) weaving them into a complex magic-eye decorated woolen sweater. When you let your ears blur ever so slightly; things begin to jump out at you.

“Teenage Riot” is the opening track, it was also the bands first single off the album. It’s allegedly about an alternate dream-world where the lead singer of Dinosaur Jr; J Mascis is President. It goes on to give a nod to The Stooges track “We will fall”. It kicks off with this slow, clean slightly haunting yet completely disarming guitar riff with lyrics being delivered by bassist Kim Gordon in a spoken word stream of consciousness style. And then suddenly it picks up as if a strong gust of wind has filled the sails and the boat is on it’s way.

Everybodys talking bout the stormy weather, And whats a man to do but work out whether its true?
Looking for a man with a focus and a temper, Who can open up a map and see between one and two

Third track “The Sprawl” has particular influence alluding to influential author William Gibson’s SCI-FI Trilogy (the trilogy features famed book Necromancer) Amongst other things Gibson wrote the short-story Johnny Mnemonic (later adapted to film) The 3rd book from the trilogy ‘Sprawl’ is titled ‘Cyberspace’ Gibson coined the term and the resounding theme is one of a world in the near future where dark corporations rule and technology via AI becomes something sinister.

By the time you reach fourth track “‘Cross The Breeze” you start to feel a shift in your mood, your overcome by this kind of up-beat numbness; It’s a combination of the previous tracks working on your psyche and the intro guitar picking of this one. It’s an urgency to do something profound, but alas your caught in a siren song of sorts. It’s all akin to something like being in a mosh pit, staggeringly drunk, falling over and just not bothering to get up again, watching yourself get trampled in slow motion; you’ve ceased to care. The Intro’s repeated heavy 8-chord attenuation coming like blows to the head. Then it all ‘seems’ to clear up and all you hear is Kim Gordon incessantly repeating “I Wanna know…” That memorable 8-chord repeating thud comes back towards the end and leads into a sweet clean outro only outdone by track “The Sprawl” before it which can’t be described without going into passe’ metaphors about use of illicit substances. It’s really …that good.

Track five “Eric’s trip” is a nice break from the previous two songs (all 15minutes of them.. almost) in that its short and to the point, leaving your head time to recover; the ending line being one of note. It’s hooks are out-done by the following track however. The 7minute:33sec “Total Trash” Sonic Youth don’t let up for long. This isn’t a pop album, use your head. Concentrate.

If anything though. By the time you’ve reached the end of the eighth track “Providence” you either begin to see the ultimate brilliance of this album or you’ve been lost in it all and you see its downfall, more on that later. On the track in question, Mike Watt; Iconic bassist of the mid 1980’s band Minutemen (amongst various other projects) is heard calling Thurston Moore and leaving a late night phone Message. This message is blended into the track’s eerie echo piano intro and layered with what is apparently the impromptu recording of one of the bands amps in melt down amongst what sounds like recorded wind distortion/interference. The amp’s valves have given all they can and will never make music again. It’s actually my favourite track on the album.

[Mike Watt]
“Thurston! Watt! Thurston! I think it’s ten thirty, we’re calling
From Providence, Rhode Island. Did you find your shit? You gotta
Watch the motin’ Thurston, your fuckin’ memory just goes out tha window.
We couldn’t find it in the van at all, we wonderin’ if you looked in
That trash can. When we threw out that trash, man, was the bag in
Your hand, did you dump it? Call later. Bye.”

I did say the intro piano sounded eerie but that’s not quite right. The track captures a desperate sort of sentimentality. It’s at this point you realise your listening to the avant-garde. And now to that downfall I was mentioning earlier. It’s more of a paradox than anything else. Daydream Nation, or any other brilliant album that pushes the boundaries in such a way can never really be given a 10/10. It’s completely inaccessible to the average-joe music listener. The musician in me say’s who gives a damn, such people don’t deserve to listen to this because they won’t appreciate it. I think Art should be hung on a wall for all to see sure, but the question remains can a piece of art with references and themes so deep really be as appreciated and engaging as say; the traditional pretty picture? It all depends on the listener of course.

Rating: 9.2/10

Tracklist:

1. “Teen Age Riot” – 6:59
2. “Silver Rocket” – 3:48
3. “The Sprawl” – 7:42
4. “Cross The Breeze” – 7:01
5. “Eric’s Trip” – 3:49
6. “Total Trash” – 7:33
7. “Hey Joni” – 4:24
8. “Providence” – 2:42
9. “Candle” – 4:59
10. “Rain King” – 4:39
11. “Kissability” – 3:09
12. “Trilogy (The Wonder – Hyperstation – Eliminator Jr.)” – 14:04

Sonic Youth
Daydream Nation
Released: 1988
Label: Enigma

Bluejuice – Broken Leg, and more.

Posted in Music by jukeboxparables on July 19, 2009

Bluejuice are a band from Sydney, Australia. I caught them at a show at the Annandale Hotel a few years back and was blown away on performance alone. These guys put on such a good show they force you to like their music even if your not that into it… yeah.

Anyway, check out their new video which is the first single of their upcoming second LP which is out the second half of 2009 through new label Dew Process The music video is a classic!

It’s in the similar vein of the popular single off their first albums music video, Vitriol (check that out below) They probably need their own TV show or something.

New track from The Cribs! “We Were Aborted”

Posted in Music by jukeboxparables on July 8, 2009

The first track off their upcoming album. The first with none other than former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr as permanent band member! It sounds more mature than their previous stuff but still has that poppy vibe that probably no one else does better. Methinks this will strip them of their underrated badge also, why they’re not huge outside of the UK I will never figure out.

A novelty – My hottest 100 of all time!

Posted in Music, Random by jukeboxparables on June 15, 2009

Yeah, so I thought I’d have a shot at my top 100 songs of all time. It’s a total novelty because It will probably be completely different come next week. And as opposed to songs that I think are great as per my voting in the JJJ hottest 100 I’m just going to go with songs that have stood out to me personally over the years or as I remember them standing out. Here goes; (I’ll try and not repeat bands but it’s tough!)

1. Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit
2. Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart
3. The Beatles – Twist & Shout
4. The Temptations – My Girl
5. At The Drive-In – 198d
6. Ramones – Blitzkrieg Bop
7. The Smiths – This Charming Man
8. David Bowie – Life On Mars?
9. Sonic Youth – Teenage Riot
10. John Lennon – Imagine
11. Radiohead – Karma Police
12. The Clash – Train In Vain
13. Cap’n Jazz – Little League
14. Nirvana – Drain You
15. The Cure – Boys Don’t Cry
16. Chuck Berry – Johnny B. Goode
17. Iggy Pop – China Girl
18. The Buzzcocks – Ever Fallen In Love
19. Elvis Presley – Suspicious Minds
20. Johnny Cash – Big River
21. Lou Reed – Perfect Day
22. Roy Orbison – Love Hurts
23. The Easybeats – Friday On My Mind
24. Sonic Youth – Schizophrenia
25. New Order – Blue Monday
26. Pulp – Disco 2000
27. The Go Betweens – Was There Anything I Could Do?
28. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Maps
29. Weezer – Tired Of Sex
30. TV On The Radio – Wolf Life Me
31. Ramones – Needles & Pins
32. The Clash – London Calling
33. Little Richard – Good Golly Miss Molly
34. The Beatles – Can’t Buy Me Love
35. At The Drive-In – Pattern Against User
36. Bloc Party – This Modern Love
37. Buddy Holly – Rave On
38. Blur – To The End
39. Muse – Stockholm Syndrome
40. Radiohead – Creep
41. The Cure – Friday I’m In Love
42. Gang Of Four – Natural’s Not In It
43. The Verve – Bitter Sweet Symphony
44. Babyshambles – Fuck Forever
45. Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah
46. Mental As Anything – Live It Up
47. Talking Heads – Once In A Lifetime
48. Hunters and Collectors – Throw Your Arms Around Me
49. Blondie – Call Me
50. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Red Right Hand
51. The Cribs – My Life Flashed Before My Eyes
52. Sex Pistols – Anarchy In The UK
53. The Mamas & The Papas – California Dreamin’
54. Cursive – Staying Alive
55. U2 – I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
56. The Stone Roses – I Wanna Be Adored
57. Sonic Youth – Dirty Boots
58. Pink Floyd – Comfortably Numb
59. Bruce Springsteen – Dancing In The Dark
60. Counting Crows – Colorblind
61. The Mars Volta – Cicatriz E.S.P
62. David Bowie – Space Oddity
63. DFA1979 – Blood On Our Hands
64. Led Zeppelin – Kashmir
65. The White Stripes – My Doorbell
66. Joy Division – Transmission
67. Iggy Pop – The Passenger
68. Thursday – Signals Over The Air
69. The Doors – Roadhouse Blues
70. Wire – Sand In My Joints
71. The Fall – Rebellious Jukebox
72. At The Drive-In – Embroglio
73. Tegan & Sara – Nineteen
74. Janis Joplin – Piece Of My Heart
75. Tom Waits – Blind Love
76. Cut Copy – Out There On The Ice
77. ACDC – Highway To Hell
78. The Promise Ring – Red & Blue Jeans
79. We Are Scientists – Lousy Reputation
80. The Offspring – Bad Habit
81. Pavement – Silence Kid
82. The Smiths – Still Ill
83. Ikara Colt – Rudd
84. Fugazi – Merchandise
85. Interpol – Pioneer To The Falls
86. Jay-Z – 99 Problems
87. The Drones – Jezebel
88. Ramones – Commando
89. The Breeders – Huffer
90. The Knife – Heartbeats
91. The Strokes – Hard To Explain
92. Radiohead – Street Spirit
93. The Rakes – The Guilt
94. CSS – Let’s Make Love And Listen To Death From Above
95. Peter Bjorn & John – Objects Of My Affection
96. Love Outside Andromeda – Bound By Heart Dissolved
97. My Bloody Valentine – When You Sleep
98. Metallica – One
99. Refused – Rather Be Dead
100. The Postal Service – Such Great Heights

A few things have become apparent here; I’m a sucker for a hit single and I apparently have an unhealthy love for era’s long past. Oh well.

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Triple J – Hottest 100 of All Time!

Posted in Music, Random by jukeboxparables on June 14, 2009

Triple J (JJJ) Also known as Australia’s national broadcaster are holding their hottest 100 of all time music poll again. For either the fourth or fifth time depending on how you look at it. Basically every year since 1989 the station has run an end of year “What is the best song of all time poll” In where bands/songs from any era could be chosen. This ran from 1989 to 1991. Joy Division came in at #1 in ’89 and ’90 with “Love Will Tear Us Apart” and Nirvana – “Smells Like Teen Spirit” got #1 in 1991 (Joy Division came in at #2)

In 1993 after a year off the format was changed to a year-in-review hottest 100 in-where people could vote for what they perceived as the best songs of the previous year (singles released in that year)

In 1998 as an almost 10-year Anniversary the ‘all time’ poll happened again. Nirvana – “Smells like Teen Spirit” got #1 whilst Hunters & Collectors – “Throw Your Arms Around Me” was #2.

Check out all the stats here

Anyway, besides what you may think about this poll; It is the Biggest public music poll on the planet (by votes counted) So I don’t see it as a bad thing at all, besides what the whingers out there say.

And It’s being run again, 10years since the last one!

Sure it is hard to vote; How do you vote for songs? By what you think is technically a better song? Or do you just go by what you love the most? It get’s yet more complicated when you start thinking about other people and how they’ll vote. For example; What’s the point of me voting for “INSERT_OBSCURE_SONG” because no one else is sure as hell not going to vote for it. So my vote won’t even show in the 100, I might as well vote my favourite bands hit single right? Well that’s how the line of thought goes I think.

Anyway because I’m usually all over the place musically I’ve decided not to vote in a certain way ie “only the best technical songs” rather I’m going to mix and match and here’s the way my vote is going:

*Note; You get to vote for 10songs in no order*. Get voting here; It’s open to everyone. Yes I’ve added links for viewing pleasure.

#The Beatles – Twist & Shout
#The Temptations – My Girl
#Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart
#David Bowie – Life On Mars?
#Ramones – Blitzkrieg Bop
#Nirvana – Drain You
#Radiohead – Karma Police
#The Smiths – This Charming Man
#At The Drive-In – 198d
#Sonic Youth – Teenage Riot

Yes, Yes It’s oh so hard sometimes. Choosing Nirvana, The Ramones and Sonic Youth’s “best” song was particularly the hardest… I’ve gone with the ‘popular’ Ramones choice likewise Sonic Youth but I’ve chosen Drain You over Teen Spirit… (and a sea of others) So darn hard to decide! :s

Bands just outside the Top10 for me: The Clash, Cap’n Jazz, Gang of Four, Blur, Iggy Pop, Muse, Bloc Party. Oh what a travesty to leave them out!

Voting closes Sunday 28th June 2009 – midnight AEST.

Nardwuar – From Nirvana to Jay Z.

Posted in Film & TV, Music, Oldschool/Classic Things by jukeboxparables on June 7, 2009

I randomly came across an Interview with Nirvana on youtube the other night. The Interviewer was someone called; Nardwuar The Human Serviette. It took me about 30sec to start convulsing at the microphone IN YOUR FACE ‘silly put on voice’ Interview style but about a minute later my ears started to ‘light up’ at some of the references he was dishing out to Kurt Cobain… still in that stupid voice. The Interview was in 3 parts (30min long) and by the end of It I was completely blown away at how much Information he’d dug out of Kurt.

And there was more… Soon I found Interviews with Sonic Youth, N.E.R.D, The Mars Volta, The Strokes, The Libertines, Weird Al Yankovic, Blur, Henry Rollins, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arctic Monkeys, Slipknot, Marylin Manson, The Roots, Ice-T, Snoop Dogg, Common and Jay Z.

I ended up watching all of those in a row.. Not because I particularly like all of them but because of Nardwuar’s approach to Interviewing. Basically all of the Artists mentioned initially react in exactly the same way. They’re sick of Interviewers, they’ve done hundreds if not 1000’s to popular media Journo’s who don’t really give a damn.

His wikipedia page states (rather factually) that he’s an Indie rock expert. I couldn’t agree more, sometimes I like to pretend I have a knowledge of music history but the connections that Nardwuar put’s together will blow you away. It’s basically A-class journalism ala an oldschool 60miutes, BBC or Dateline reporter mixed with the comical approach of Bobcat Goldthwait (circa Police Academy) and the stylings of say… an Irish golfer. Perhaps this guy’s research ability has something to do with his bachelor’s degree (with honours) in history.

Anyway. Apart from all the cool things you’ll pickup watching these interviews another reason to watch them is (after you watch your first one) try and pick which band will snap it in complete incomprehension whilst which artists will get it, be in Awe and deliver give an insight into their past and yet others who will fall somewhere in between!

Since Nardwuar has been doing his thing for a Canadian radio station since 1987 there’s a bunch of written and audio Interviews on his website. But I recommend you definitely watch the Youtube videos… nothing catches the awkwardness better than a Video Interview. Some are lengthy-er than others I guess probably based on Nardwuar’s affection for the Artist he’s Interviewing, or perhaps allotted time. Particularly look for the ones spanning from the early 90’s to early 2000’s. As of late the format has seemed to change to shorter cuts with newish Artists.

Here’s a small selection!

Nirvana – January 1, 1994. (Also with Courtney Love)
PART 1
PART 2
PART 3
Kurt handles it with a kind of sick desperation to please. You can see the worked up ability of dealing with any number of dull Interviewers over the years serves him well here.

The Mars Volta
PART 1
PART 2
Omar and Cedric find it all rather amusing. The question is, were they also joking when talking about ex band mate Jim Ward? At this point they totally came across as pretentious dicks IMO, I’ll give them the benefit and say they’re pretty amusing.

The Strokes
PART 1
PART 2
PART 3
PART 4
This is one of my favs. Singer Julian in the early early days after a big night and probably on something good. He eventually warms to Nardwuar and tells about the utter battle in his head about being credited for their music as opposed to being perceived on Image alone or as a band all about Image. And selling out and all that. It’s kind of eerie seeing this in comparison to Kurt Cobain (who was also very very weary of this situation) he lived through it to get to the state of cynical regression you see in the Nardwuar interview above… but as we all know he never really got through that phase.

N.E.R.D – Pharrell Williams
PART 1 (Extended)
Pharrell is high as a kite here, which is rather unfortunate as he gets totally stumped by the questions put to him. I would’ve loved to hear him talk more about Carl Sagan. I think I like this one so much because it’s refreshing to see someone who has achieved that much as seemingly as still chilled out and down to earth (well perhaps more in the clouds in this Interview!)

The Roots (with drummer Questlove)
PART 1
PART 2
PART 3
PART 4
One of the better Interviewee’s that opens up without everything going to a shambles, you learn a lot here!

Funniest Interviewee goes to Iggy Pop! Members of Sonic Youth and Blur win awards for being the biggest dicks. Jay Z wins the biggest stoner award and It’s a tie between Cobain and Questlove for most chilled out!

Check out all the video interviews here.

Craig Schuftan On Romanticism & Rock n Roll

Posted in Books/Comics/Manga, Music, Oldschool/Classic Things by jukeboxparables on May 20, 2009

I’ve caught this program called Fora on ABC TV a few times now, It’s an Australian equivalent of something like CSPAN. A show dedicated to Talks on intellectual, political, cultural and economic debate in Australia. However they also have a website and offer their feature segments IN FULL for viewing online, great stuff.

Their current feature is Craig Schuftan, who Triple J listeners might know as occasionally presenting a short segment called “The Culture Club” which basically traces contemporary music and specific bands/artists back through time to the origins of the subject matter a particular artist happens to be talking about. In some cases it’s easy work; Craig takes in song/album titles or lyrics and traces their origin. In other cases however, he thoroughly investigates the links to the motif’s and movements/underlying statements of a particular song/album/band. It’s powerful stuff.

The segment was turned into a book but this ABC Fora talk is about his most recent book on the ties between modern music and romanticism. It’s must watch viewing for all you fellow music nerds. I’ve tagged a handful of the artists mentioned in the talk.

Enjoy! – Click here to view video. *Click play, then Play Full Clip*

Alternatively you can listen to the MP3 right here.

Radiohead and The Libertines.

Posted in Music by jukeboxparables on May 19, 2009

Go the BBC for music news! Radiohead are recording a new album! Bassist Colin Greenwood told 6 Music the Oxford band have been busy in the studio over the last week with producer Nigel Godrich.

“It’s at the stage where we’ve got the big Lego box out and we’ve tipped it out on the floor and we’re just looking at all the bits and thinking what’s next?”

And… The Libertines are probably going to reform, says Adam Ficek (drummer of Babyshambles) This after NME has posted video of a unannounced on-stage reunion show recently. Also of note is Adam mentioned Babyshambles are working on their third album.

Sonic Youth – Sacred Trickster, Antenna. Live on Jools Holland

Posted in Music by jukeboxparables on May 5, 2009

Another two new tracks off the bands upcoming album The Eternal. Can you believe Thurston is 50years old? I can’t. To me he’ll always be that late 20-something shaggy haired crazy dood circa the 1980’s!

Sonic Youth month continues…

Sonic Youth – What We Know. Live on Jools Holland

Posted in Music by jukeboxparables on May 1, 2009

I’m declaring May: Sonic Youth month. Because after a few listens of their 16th album “The Eternal” …basically they’ve still got it. No other band in History has been able to pull this off in my opinion; that is not making rehashed or dull or just plain dinosaur music after 30+ years. Maybe Bowie… or The Beatles.

The Eternal is as fresh as their 15th effort Rather Ripped but rather than emitting a cleaner lighter vibe that album had it has memorable heavy/dirty hooks as if giving nods to albums like “Goo” and “Dirty”. Full review in the coming weeks.

But here’s the band playing “What We Know” on Jools Holland (above). Jools rightly mentions the band played way back on the shows debut in 1992. So I’ve tracked down that performance (below) 18years later, its all still there. Bravo.