Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Listen Or Die? #11 - Palo Congo...

Listen Or Die? Our weekly examination of the albums listed in the book, 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Must you hear them? We'll be the judge of that... 

by Sabu (1957)
Running Time: 40:52
Reviewed by Matt Bond

1.El Cumbanchero
2. Billumba-Palo Congo
3. Choferito-Plena
4. Asabache
5. Simba
6. Rhapsodia Del Maravilloso
7. Aggo Elegua
8. Tribilin Cantore

Say goodbye to the brassy big band jazz sounds, at least for this week, and say hello to some spicy Latin jazz! Louis Martinez aka Sabu delivers a forty minute, non-stop percussive assault of Cuban rumba goodness, random Spanish rants (one assumes as one does not speak much Spanish - hola, bitchola) and world class conga drumming. Places you can expect to hear the music of Palo Congo these days include your fave local Mexican dining establecimiento, motion pictures that feature exciting/exotic dance sequences south of the border and that's about it. 

Given Sabu's mixed heritage (Spanish, African and West Indian), Palo Congo percussive influences leap from Latin to African and beyond throughout. The tribal beats of Africa are most prevalent on 'Simba,' which should come as no surprise to anyone who has seen The Lion King and has a basic understanding of geography. Don't get used to the pre-'Circle of Life' circa-1957 Zulu chanting though, as you're bounced right back to a sunny, tequila-infused Sunday afternoon in Tijuana for 'Rhapsodia Del Maravilloso.' Percussion takes a backseat to the tres guitar, which favours latter day funk as much as the timeless sounds of classic Spanish music. 

This back and forth between African and Spanish themed tracks keeps the listener invested. If the focus had been limited to strict Cuban rumba, Palo Congo would command just as much attention as your standard 50s jazz album. Did I mention how happy I am to be big band jazz free for a week? That fact alone would have earned Sabu a LISTEN for Palo Congo. Thankfully, the album's percussive genius does a lot more to earn it. 

The tally...

DIE: 6

Monday, 29 April 2013

New Music Monday #50

by will.i.am (2013)


The start of '#willpower' didn't help, why would anyone open an album with a track titled 'Good Morning'? The first time I listened to this was at 5.56pm, so I was immediately confused and annoyed, but you know, I'm a dedicated blogger, so thought I'd keep my commitment to our New Music Monday and keep listening. The problem was, the next time I actually realised I was listening was track six, because this album is so dull, during the first five tracks my mind wandered to what I was going to have for dinner and what I'm planning to do next weekend. As I said, I'm a dedicated blogger so I returned to track two and listened again, vaguely hearing "Britney bitch" a few minutes later, which is a small moment of light...and let's be honest, that's not saying much because that song should have had more Britney and been a lot better, but I digress.

My mind wandered through another five tracks and my blogging dedication got tested, so let me summarise; Bieber made an appearance somewhere, I didn't hate 'The World Is Crazy', the track with Miley Cyrus; 'Fall Down' sounded like a commercial for some kind of insurance company, I refused to listen to the track that appears fifth and by the time I got to the last track 'Bang Bang', I was embarrassed for the original 'Bang Bang' by Nancy Sinatra. How unfortunate that song has to have the same name as this piece of unintelligent, bland four and a half minutes.

I did get through the album and the thing is; this is a will.i.am album, it was never going to change the world, be deep and meaningful, reflective or life changing. It's only purpose is to entertain, but the problem I have? It doesn't. It's boring, it sounds like everyone put in minimal effort and that's not enough. I'm tired of celebrities like will.i.am getting exposure on radio and TV and internet just because they are who they are. Yes, pop music IS throwaway music, mostly, but that shouldn't mean I want to bin an album before the end of an album.

Hashtag this will.i.am -






Jo Michelmore gives #willpower one Lil Kim head out of five...

by The xx
Album: The Great Gatsby OST (6 May, 2013)

Are we in agreement that The Great Gatsby soundtrack is going to be one of the best albums of the year? We are? Great. Each of the original songs we've heard so far have blown me away. Florence + The Machine, Lana Del Rey, Nero and Sia have released mind blowing tracks in the past couple of weeks and now The xx offer up 'Together.' On first listen it gives you the same chills throughout your entire body that 'Angels' conjured up. This is even more of a questionable love, seemingly doomed from the start. The tension builds to the introduction of beautiful, cinematic strings as our two leads repeat the lines, "together, to be, together, and be." Adding The xx to his Gatsby team might have been Jay-Z's most inspired move.

Matt Bond gives 'Together' four Lady Gaga heads out of five... 


by Castlecomer
EP: Lone Survivor (2013)

It's a simple idea. A dude walks up to the screen with a sign that says "how do you dance?" and then a whole bunch of people show us how they pop, lock and pirouette etc. It's simple, but it's also a lot of fun, matches the upbeat nature of 'Rosie' the song and is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. What else does 'Rosie' have working in its favour? A dude in a mariachi outfit dancing in slow-mo. You can also look at some of the dancers as an example of how not to dance... ever. Flexing while dancing makes you look like a wanker, spinning a basketball while walking is not widely considered to be dancing at all and only kids look cute when they jump around like a crazy person with minimal limb control. A video that's not only fun, but educational too. It's a winner.

Matt Bond gives the video for 'Rosie' three Kylie heads out of five...   

In Stranger Times
by Jeremy Neale ft. Go Violets (2013)

Oh, Brisbane. So much better than every city in Australia and you're home to Jeremy Neale and Go Violets. This video is good (and by good I mean laugh out loud genuinely good), but I'll admit I didn't pay much attention to the song the first time I watched it. Once I finished enjoying moments such as pizza, pony club, moderately successful lucha libre, so dreamy (in slow-mo) and fighting, always fighting and never not fighting, I listened to the song and it's all kinds of retro-revival amazing. I don't want to make grand assumptions, but I'm of the opinion 'In Stranger Times' was made on a minimal budget. I love an over the top, fifty million dollar music video that's got Beyonce and one hundred back-up dancers shaking it in the desert while some near-extinct animals watch on as much as the next music fan. But it's always nice to get a reminder that an excellent music video can be made on the cheap, while not sacrificing on entertainment value. Jeremy Neale and Go Violets, you did good. 

Matt Bond gives the video for 'In Stranger Times' four Michael Hutchence heads out of five...

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Top 25 - 28 April, 2013

Mr Little Jeans!

1. Ella Hooper - Haxan (#1 for 2 weeks!)

2. Florence + The Machine - Over The Love (NEW)
3. Mr Little Jeans - Oh Sailor (NEW)

4. Pigeons - Encounters

5. Crystal Fighters - You and I (NEW)

6. Hamish Anderson - Howl (NEW)

7. Crystal Fighters - Wave
8. Buchanan - Human Spring

9. Bernard Fanning - Battleships (NEW)

10. Lana Del Rey - Young and Beautiful (NEW)
11. Chvrches - Now Is Not The Time

12. Janelle Monae ft. Erykah Badu - Q.U.E.E.N (NEW)
13. Daft Punk ft. Pharrell Williams - Get Lucky (NEW)
14. Jessie Ware - Imagine It Was Us

15. The Money Go Round - Endless Sun (NEW)

16. Castlecomer - Rosie (NEW)

17. Wolf Alice - Bros
18. Laura Marling - Master Hunter (NEW)
19. MGMT - Alien Days (NEW)
20. Curxes - Further Still

21. Nero - Into The Past (NEW)
22. Snakehips - On and On (NEW)

23. London Grammar - Wasting My Young Years (NEW)
24. Kelis - Jerk Ribs (NEW)
25. Disclosure ft. Eliza Doolittle - You and Me (NEW)

Thursday, 25 April 2013

It's All Coming Back To Me Now - A Letter Of Love to Chrissy Amphlett

Dear Chrissy
by Jo Michelmore

Dear Chrissy,

Hi. It’s me, Jo. We never met and I'm just a little blogger, someone who adores music in all it's ways. So many will say so many things now you’ve gone, so many will pay tribute in so many ways. Real life journalists and musicians and people who probably have a lot more importance and right to say things than I do will have said a lot already. It almost doesn’t feel right having the audacity to write something to you, and although it might not mean much, as a fan of music, there’s just a little something I want to say. 

I don’t even know everything about you, I don’t know everything about the Divinyls, but I do know I owe you this. 

It’s a thank you.

It’s the ones like you, the women of rock who have always been there for me. I’m a girl who never quite felt like I fit in. I wasn’t one of the pretty ones in school; I wasn’t one of the girly ones after school. When the other girls didn’t get me, it was women of rock like you, bouncing around, screaming with venom that I turned to. Women like you have comforted me when I felt like my own peers couldn’t. 


It’s the ones like you, the women of rock who have always been friends. When the boys who broke my heart didn’t deserve my attention, women of rock like you are the ones who made me stronger than those boys could ever have understood anyway.


It’s the ones like you, the women of rock, who’ve always made me question things. When I’ve not quite understood society, when I’ve not accepted things as they are and wanted to stand up for what I think is right, or wrong; it’s women of rock like you who have given me the courage to know what I know is ok. I may not always be right, but I’m ok. You have understood me, you have been the ones I hear when I didn’t feel like anyone was hearing me.


Above all else, it’s the ones like you, the women of rock like you that have given me the confidence to face the world everyday as the person I am. Music is the thing that keeps me sane when I need it, that drives me insane when I need it and it’s women of rock like you that have paved the way for so, so many artists I adore. The reason your most famous song is your most famous song is because you are one of the women who had the strength and confidence to show the world who you are, to be yourself and to be comfortable with that person. That’s something I might not have quite achieved yet, but it’s women of rock like you that help me get closer and closer everyday. 


Thank you Chrissy Amphlett, for being the woman of rock you were, for inspiring the women of rock I’ve already loved and for inspiring those I’m bound to adore in the future. Most of all, thank you Chrissy Amphlett, for in being yourself, you have inspired me.