Bloc Party – Glasgow Comeback Gig Showcase

Lead singer Kele posted recently on his blog announcing the band are back together and about to release their fourth album,

“We have just finished mixing our new record. I am very proud of it. It is the best thing that we have ever done and finishing this record has taken us on quite a journey,” he wrote. “There have been babies, breakdowns, tantrums and hospitalisations but it’s finally here. We started making this record in NY in the winter of 2011. We didn’t want to let the world know so we told a lie that got out of hand but it made us laugh in the process, which brought us closer together.”

Kele speaks of the bands time apart and silence as deliberate despite rumours being rife of a contentious split. He lists the reasons for the break is in the personal shaping of band members individual lives,

“We could have come clean from the get go but to be honest we had no idea if anything was going to come out of these sessions. There was a big question mark over whether bloc party were ever going to make another record again. We were exhausted and bored and distant from one another. So in 2010 we all did our own thing, Gordon had a baby, Russell joined Ash, Matt built a studio in his basement with his bare hands and I moved to New York to finish a book that I had been writing for the last three years.”

Kele has every faith in the upcoming album which hopefully won’t leave us fans disappointed,

“In the past there has been so much written about what our records have meant, so much context and back story but I am adamant that this time these songs will stand on their own. This record is the sound of four people in a room, loving what they do and doing it to the best of their ability. It is the sound that only the four of us could make and I am prouder of it than any record we have ever made.”

On June 19th in Glasgow, Bloc Party played an electric comeback show featuring seven new songs including ‘3×3’ and ‘So he begins to lie’. Check out ‘3×3’ below, witness the band back on form, dispelling any long-standing rumours of friction. Look below again and discover the trailer for the forthcoming album, Four.

– Grace, Melbourne.

Grizzly Bear – New album set for release

Grizzly Bear’s new song, ‘Sleeping Ute’ was posted on the bands website in early June as a sneak preview to their highly anticipated fourth album set to be released in September. The band are basking in phenomenal success having toured with iconic British rock band, Radiohead, played major festivals including Lollapalooza and even becoming bum chums with music legend, Paul Simon accompanying him onstage for five performances. Grizzly Bear count notorious rapper Jay Z as a firm follower amongst their far-reaching fanbase, he hopes bands like Grizzly Bear, “will push Hip-Hop to go further”. The Brooklyn based indie rock band are classed as experimental, psychedelic indie rock and ‘Sleeping Ute’ is a brilliant reminder of their permeating, awe-inspiring lyric and sound.

Grizzly Bear are confirmed to play Australia for the first time ever this year on Novemeber 11th at the two day Harvest festival in Melbourne.

– Grace, Melbourne.

The Stone Roses – The Second Second Coming

It’s been sixteen years since the dissolution of The Stone Roses and the cracks are already beginning to contentiously surface in the bands much hyped and anticipated European comeback tour. At their recent Dutch gig, the encore resulted in a disappearing drummer and Ian Brown labelling him a c**t, “the drummer’s gone home… I’m not joking, the drummer’s gone home. Get all your aggro out on me, I can take it.. What can I say, the drummer’s a c**t.”

Leaves you thinking back to why they must have broke up in the first place – still it wouldn’t be the same without a bit of controversy thrown into the cocktail. Wonder what the imminent Manchester gigs will bring to the tumultuous table of their second coming.

In the meantime watch the hilarious mockumentary below and see if you can spot the comedic cameos !

– Grace, Melbourne.

‘Man is born free but everywhere he is in chains’

A look on-line at the papers from home today in work caused me to pause for thought on the idea and burning issue of sovereignty in modern democratic societies, especially considering the continuing crisis of Ireland and the EU at large. Iconic philosopher and writer, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the man who sparked the French Revolution’s birthday has provided a though-provoking and relevent article from Vincent Brown, the ever out-spoken, political assassin, journalist and broadcaster. The key premise Vincent highlights;

“The idea of the people being sovereign is part of our political jargon, but Rousseau had a far stronger notion of what was meant by “a sovereign people” than is nowadays commonly allowed. It was that the people themselves decide on all the fundamental issues of their society, deciding on the basis of the common good, not on the basis of their factional self-interests. He regarded representative democracy, the version of democracy we have here and that prevails throughout most of the world that is called democratic, as a corruption of the people’s sovereignty for it removed them from decision-making, except at periodic elections when they were momentarily free, and thereafter, once more, mere subjects.”

Leaving Ireland a year and a half ago I was so tired of his political talk-show incessantly beaming out negativity to the nation on the economic turmoil. However this article actually highlights some interesting ideals, reference, critique and connections as to why things have become what they’ve become.

Give a glance and make up your own minds.

– Grace, Melbourne

Periodic elections a corruption of people’s sovereignty.

Santigold – ‘Master of My Make Believe’

Santi White or Santigold as she’s recently titled in the music industry is back with her long-awaited sophomore LP, Master of My Make-Believe. Possibly one of the coolest individuals known to dabble in music, Santigold just oozes an enchanting creativity and charm.

Four years since her eponymous first album featuring ground-breaking hits like Creator and L.E.S Artistes, fans are finally able to slip back into her dub-tronic oasis and the genre-defying glory of her sound. Industry friends such as Major Laser’s Switch and Diplo are on hand once more to represent her sound and co-produce some growling underground beats. Collaborations with Karen-O on the track GO! creates a racy, new wave, African tribal sound. Also enlisting the writing skills of A Tribe called Quest’s Q-Tip, adding further layers of reinforcement and diversity to her new album.

Interestingly, Santigold only began songwriting at twenty five years of age, which is good news for all of us late creative bloomers. Never too late to turn your hand to something. She worked as an A&R rep at Epic records for years and did some song-writing for pop queens like Lily Allen and Ashlee Simpson. Even did a stint as a front woman to Philadelphia punk band Stiffed before imparting upon her own solo path. She once revealed that the notion of her holding the ability to song-write and sing came to her in a dream one night. A calling we’re all grateful to her for following.

Santigold describes her musical purpose as to, “help break down boundaries and genre classifications”. She steers her musical ship towards new-wave punk, reggae, dance and dupstep, displaying a mesh of genres. In reflection, Santigold highlights her musical influences to stem as a child from her introduction to Afro-beat pioneer Fela Kuti and the late Aretha Franklin by her father.

Her first album will always remain in my personal favourites and the second one is gaining similar status for me. The originality and depth in sound left critics unable to pin her into any current genre. Music had been thirsting for someone to throw the female music world on it’s head. Lines of producers in the four years since her first production have weighed in to duplicate her innovative sound and style rendering her music to appear less fresh to newly exposed audiences. According to some critics her second album seems a little uninspired, overly-produced and too polished, a sell-out in comparison to her first release.

I disagree and hold Master of My Make Believe as an album to have something new I love about it each time I play it. Santigold is truly mastering her own lyrical fantasies with a slew of tracks representing an empowered woman, defying the stale and repressive conventions of the music world, “Leading with the heart. You know your battle from the start”. No one does a catchy, defiant hook or bad ass rap quite like Santigold.

I can’t stop listening to the reggae infused, ‘Pirate in the water’, the sardonic diss in ‘Look at these hoes’, the perpetual and empowering electro echoes in ‘God from the machine’ and the bombastic, ‘Freak like me’. Make up your own mind on whether you believe Santigold is the true master or not in this production.

Below a recent interview showcasing the down to earth and quirky thinkings of Santigold. Underneath again the BBC Radio One live version of her next single, ‘Keepers’.

– Grace, Melbourne.


Space to Grow

It has been a long running dream of mine to live in a warehouse/large loft space alongside lots of other like minded, ambitious, imaginative beings. The desire to nurture, share and showcase talent is amplified and boundaries that were there before seem to disappear. The combination of huge space, plus the variety and quality of creative juices available generates super fertile land for ideas to manifest into reality, bloom, mutate and grow. This documentary compiled with resident testimonies from a warehouse in Australia called Lanfranchis Memorial Discotheque reinforces my ideal and furthers my longing to become part of a community such as this.

Adele, Vancouver

Ben Brown – Die Young

Ben Brown is a Sydney based illustrator, designer and artist currently working in a studio near Manly bay with a team of similar artists. He has a diverse career spanning twenty years contributing to industries such as clothing, music and publishing. On an even cooler level he creates zany pieces for legendary magazines such as Rolling Stones, Mad Magazine and graphics for adverts on huge brands such as Rip Curl, Mambo and Oneill. Ben reveals how he goes about his rather eccentric creations, ‘I generally work with ink from a brush or pen on paper , I like drawing , and then I scan the image to finish and colour it digitally. I also like working in acrylic paints and coloured pencils.’

I recently stumbled across his tongue in cheek, Andy Warhol inspired brightly coloured yet morbid portraits of famous dead icons. Amongst the portraits below are Jimi Hendrix, James Dean, Kurt Cobian and also a cover from Mad Magazine and a skeletal Spiderman.

Amy Winehouse, the latest victim to the bizarre Twenty Seven Club even has a portrait. A simply mesmerising piece, displaying a decaying right-side body with her beehive comically intact. Let yourself pore over and be haunted by Ben’s sickly unreal talent.

– Grace, Melbourne.