Friday, 29 November 2013

10 and 1 - Go Call The Po-leece, Go Call The Gov-a-nah




10 Britney Songs That Are Better 
Than Anything On Britney Jean
by Matt Bond




Britney Spears put her new album Britney Jean up for streaming at the start of the week. Here's a quick review... meh. Here's an extended review... it's meh-tacular. Sure, there's a couple of club bangerz (with a 'z') here and there, but for the most part, nothing on it holds a candle to pretty much everything else she's done. I mean, I'd rather listen to 'I'm Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman' and a happier alternative to listening to that song is jumping out of a plane without a parachute. I've done a great job of blaming will.I.am for everything that was wrong with the singles 'Work Bitch' and 'Perfume', so I'll just keep that rolling and say, "LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!" Back away from the Spears, Mr. am. If that even is your real name. Apparently the album was designed as a concept about the loneliness of life as a pop star. That's exactly what I took from 'Work Bitch' and I'm sure you did too. Lines like, "here comes the smasher, here comes the master, here comes the big beat, big beat to blast ya," are of the psychological depth required to examine such an issue.


Britney Jean is a sea of mediocre EDM, but there was one track on it that made me remember the pop icon 'ole zombie Spears used to be. Guess which song it was? Here's a hint. It's not 'It Should Be Easy' which features none other than (you guessed it), will.I.am. They're making me want to scream an shout and let it all out. And I don't even know what that really means. Let what out? The dogs? I don't know. Anyway, there's that one song right that makes me think HMAS Spears has yet to sail away completely, so that's how we're ending the 10 and 1 for the year. The one is, of course, the only decent thing about Britney Jean. The ten. That's ten tracks that made us forgive things like that VMA performance and Crossroads. So get excited, dear readers for it's classic Britney... bitch. 


The 10:


...Baby One More Time




Oops!... I Did It Again




What I don't get is, if she's an alien, how does she even know the old lady threw it into the ocean at the end? You know what I'm talking about.


Stronger




I'm A Slave 4 U




Boys (The Co-Ed Remix)




Toxic




Everytime




Piece of Me




Womanizer




Till The World Ends




THE ONE:


Passenger
Album: Britney Jean... that new one you're probably not going to buy.




Do you know what's great about this Britney attempt at a torch song? That will.I.am has NOTHING to do with it. Katy Perry and Sia helped out with words and Diplo was brought in for production duties. That explains why it's slightly interesting, yes? Yes. There's minimal distortion on the vocals, an attempt at lyrical depth and I'm actually finding it easy to pay backhanded compliments. For the next album, love, ditch Mr Boom Boom Pow (them chickens jockin' my style) and shack up with Diplo for awhile. It would be infinitely more interesting than the total package that is Britney Jean. Now, let's go listen to 'Toxic' again. Those were the days, my friend. We thought that they would never end...


Thursday, 28 November 2013

Where Is My Mind? - Well Not So Much Is...


Madonna has nothing to do with the following words. I just always loved this picture of her. 
This is MY blog post. Deal with it...


....But Where Has My Mind Been?
by Jo Michelmore


And so here we are, your final journey into wherever my mind is for 2013 and what a journey it's been. I remember when I first discussed with Matt the concept of wanting to write a new post, something with a little freedom that could take us anywhere where my thoughts took us. I remember having absolutely no idea where that might be. Now looking back, I love re-visiting the places I've been....


It started when I returned from Europe. You know I went to Eurovision this year right? Yes, I know you know, but do you reeeeeally know what that means? That means I saw this...




Yeah, I know, this was just another excuse for me to mention Eurovision, but as I've said many times this year, this is my post, deal with it. Regardless, after I returned from Europe we started this little journey into my thoughts and we started with The Pixies and the song that named it all...




...and then somehow my mind went into overdrive and I started talking about a boy I used to know and what I should have said to him all those years ago, and probably something I should say to a few other people I know right now...




...and then that bald guy led to thoughts of bald people which led to thoughts of Billy Corgan, of course, which led to thoughts about being a blogger and all it's benefits, of which there are many. Like the benefit of being able to tell everyone (hi four readers!) how much I don't like Coldplay...




...and then that song took me through a whole conversation about a dark mustard velveteen long sleeve top wearer. See? Don't you enjoy the places I've taken you. I never said they were great, I just said they were interesting and yes, dark mustard velveteen long sleeve tops ARE interesting, godamn it. Anyway, that dark mustard velveteen long sleeve top wearer then took me to my own personal routine, which is generally  -


I work, I blog, I work, I go to gigs, I blog, I eat out, I blog, I holiday, I work, I blog, I have a lot of friends to drink tea with, I blog, I bake, I blog, I sleep every now and then, I blog


and somehow that led me to someone I still adore...oh Jack, oh sigh....




and strangely someone with especially bad hair took me to my own hairstyle, which turned into someone else I adore with some very famous facial hair, Freddie Mercury, who sported a facial hair style loved and admired by our own K-Tizz...




...which somehow took us straight to the 90s and a group not so much known for their facial hair at the time...




...which obviously took me to dreams of California, and no one thinks of California without thinking of notoriously bad (plastic surgery, fake tans, Hollywood) and notoriously good (Miley Cyrus?) things...




...which took me straight to my very favourite title of any of my posts, ever. Ready? Let's relive it again.


'Haim, Not Ham'


C'mon! That's comedy genius! You know you laughed out loud! C'mon! I've been to all sorts of other places too and you've loved them all! Like you've loved Katie's Sizzle, Nayt's Candy Shop, Matt's 10 and 1's (yes, that Ke$ha Goes To Dinosaur Land was comic gold), glimpses into the life and drinking habits of Lou and her amazing reviews and my posts.  Regardless of where we've all taken you in 2013, thanks so much for reading (Mum). You, dear reader(s), you know what? You rule. Until next year, where I promise to take you to all sorts of fabulous and not so fabulous places...

Gig Review - Holy Holy, Govs and Eves




Holy Holy
Live @ Black Bear Lodge (21/11/2013)
Supported by Govs and Eves
Words by Jo Michelmore
Pics by Cordell Sanders


It had been a long week. Actually, it had been a long month and by the time it got to last Thursday night, the last thing I wanted to do was smile politely at strangers and climb those stairs of the Black Bear after eight long hours at my day job and what felt like a lifetime of tiredness (exxaggeration, but damn I was tired). My addiction to live music over rides tiredness though, like it over rides almost everything, so Black Bear it was.


As the dedicated blogger I am though, I pulled on my second favourite pair of boots (everything feels better with good boots on) and dragged myself out of my house to find myself probably the best carpark I'd ever found (until Saturday nights excellent park, but my carparking skills are another story) and ran to the Valley Mall, knowing I might be late for the first band.





Alas, my day job had kept me from my true love of live music once again and while I only caught two songs of Eves, they were really, really good songs. I tried to spy as much of the stage as I could through the silhouetted heads of tall hipsters, but couldn't make out much other than the blinking lights of the sound desk. They blinked in some kind of rhythmical manner so I know I must catch more of these fabulous sounds sometime soon. Eves is good, really good, even from behind the sound desk. Have you heard 'Zen'? You must, you simply must listen and like me, you must see her live ASAP.





While the crowd dispersed and made their way to the bar, I did my usual trick and headed for the stage and as usual, I got my lucky spot in this cozy little venue, a little seat right against the wall, left of stage. I usually prefer the right, but you can't have everything, can you? GOVS made their way on to the stage shortly after I asked a polite gentleman whether "that seat was taken?" and I was so delighted to have found such a fabulous spot to see such a fabulous bunch of musicians. Playing absolutely brand new tracks like 'Husband'; "we've never played this in front of people before" and tracks that have earned them the hype they are currently receiving like 'Holy Trinity', their set was one I'd like to see again and again. I'm still trying to comprehend that Josiah Birrell hails from the Gold Coast; land of spray tans, tourists and gold accessories. This is not a doof doof bang bang Gold Coast sound and while there's nothing wrong with any doof doof bang bang sounds, the heartfelt emotion from GOVS is something special, something a little more real than all the the Gold Coast usually offers. I think I love and a little musical love is exactly what I needed on an exhausting Thursday night.




By the time GOVS left the stage, most of my exhausting day had disappeared and all that was left was a little buzz, the buzz I'm addicted to. That little feeling that live music creates was certainly there on Thursday night, as I'd seen Holy Holy live before and quite loudly and happily proclaimed one Holy Timothy Carroll as having one of Brisbane's best voices. I didn't have to wait long to hear that delicious voice again. Joined by three other musicians (including an imkos fave sometimes known as MKO and another, probably the tallest man to ever grace the Black Bear stage) Holy Holy took to the stage like they owned it and yes, owned it they did.


It's a pretty special band when I can't really name you many of the tracks they played, because I don't know many of their tracks (yet) and it's a pretty special band that can capture your attention from their first sounds after my own long and exhausting day. It's a pretty special band that can gain the amount of attention they have and back it up with an incredible amount of talent and a sound that is not only at times surprising, but also incredibly comforting. Their single 'Impossible Like You' is only the first taste of what these two, Timothy Carroll and Oscar Dawson, are capable of. Timothy's voice is divine and Oscar's skills are mesmerising. Together they are perfectly wonderful, with every song sounding like something I desperately need to hear again.


By the time I got home and took off my second favourite pair of boots, I was still exhausted, but I was smiling. This time I was genuinely smiling because sometimes, forgetting I have a day job and being a dedicated blogger is so worth the effort. Holy Holy, GOVS and Eves from behind the sound desk were such a sweet reward for a little bit of effort. Next time, I'm wearing my favourite pair of boots and I'm running up those Black Bear stairs, because I know there's always happy at the top of that staircase.


Wednesday, 27 November 2013

The K-Tizzle Sizzle - I Listened To Taylor Swift...



... And I Liked It*
by Katie Langley 


Permission was granted for me to share this story on the condition that an alias is used. “Permission” is a term I use loosely and may have simply involved me announcing “that’s it, you’re getting sizzled” with the suggestion of an alias after the person in question looked a bit uneasy.  You’ve got nothing to worry about, errr, George. We’re all friends here!


After reading The K-Tizzle Sizzle last week about first concert experiences, George revealed a secret to me – he hasn’t been to a concert in a long time but will soon be going to see Taylor Swift. George is a red blooded, cricket loving man who admits he started to wonder what he was signing up for when he realised he was the only male going with a group of female friends. George seemed a little embarrassed, which initially made me wonder if this week I should write about my own concert shame experiences. I considered telling you about how I saw Chingy, twice, and even rode on the Vengabus. But the thing is, I feel no shame. I like what I like and make no apologies!




Since my conservation with George I’ve started to wonder if Taylor Swift is the pop star that appeals to all men, straight and gay. On a night out with friends recently we began the evening at an alternative whiskey bar, and ended the evening at a gay bar (gay bar, gay bar, whoa! C’mon, don’t pretend like you weren’t thinking about Electric Six). Two very different venues, with very different clientele. Although, there was one uniting element – Taylor Swift.




At the whiskey bar the resident angsty DJ sported a mini Mohawk, and played songs by the Beastie Boys, Blind Melon and Pearl Jam. He rocked out to these tunes wearing a shirt that read “Taylor Swift or Die”.  I knew he was trouble when I walked in. Badoom-tish. Seriously though, Taylor Swift or die? What does that mean exactly? If I don’t like Taylor Swift he’ll torture me with her music until my ears bleed and I die a slow and horrible death? I was curious alright, and agonised about taking a picture with him, but in the end wussed out for fear that he might club me to death with a Taylor Swift CD.




Fast forward a few hours where I found myself gliding onto the dance floor at a gay bar. As I approached the floor, lit by a glistening disco ball, I shimmied past a man wearing head to toe leopard print, complete with cowboy hat. Initially, as ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’ played I couldn’t help but think about the goat parody doing the rounds of the Internet and took great pleasure in squealing along in the appropriate parts. As I bleated like a crazed goat I looked around the dance floor and was impressed by the dazzling vocals and dancing abilities of the punters. The Taylor Swift love was clear to see.




What is it that men* love? I think they either want to be her friend, or bone her. And let’s be honest, with Miss Swift’s track record the latter is entirely possible.




*Please note that there is an exception to the rule and his name is Josh, the husband of my colleague Elisha. Elisha has been speculating that he purchased her tickets to the upcoming Taylor Swift show at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane for her birthday. After denying that this was the gift Elisha changed tactics and instead attempted to lure soccer loving Josh into purchasing tickets with the suggestion that it would be just like seeing a soccer game there. His response? “Except it will be nothing like it. No”. Elisha, you could always go with George...


Tuesday, 26 November 2013

The Candy Shop #30





CANDY SHOP IS DEAD!
by Nayt Housman


Well the year is nearly over and it’s the last time you will unwrap the Candy Shop wrapper this year (maybe forever?) So I felt it was appropriate to hold a funeral ceremony in order to farewell what has been a great year of shit/good/weird/addictive/repulsive Candy Shop posts. Candy Shop was a lot of things to a lot of us but most of all…



Candy Shop was a faithful friend…




Candy Shop was a confidante…





Candy Shop was honest when we needed it…  




Candy Shop was a whole lot of good memories…



 

In loving memory of The Candy Shop. May you live on in the memories and hearts of all thirty people who ever read your words.

Monday, 25 November 2013

New Music Monday #79




Slow Motion Music
by Oliver Tank (out now)





It's funny how some musicians just fly under your radar sometimes. Only a month or so ago I was lucky enough to see Oliver Tank play as support for Lorde and before that night I'll admit I had no idea who he was. Before the gig I didn't even know if Oliver Tank was a person or a band. He's a guy, just so you know. A really talented guy and also a kind of cute guy, just so you know. But I digress.


What I found out after that gig is that Oliver has been hanging around and producing some quite impressive music for some time now. As well as releasing his first EP Dreams in 2011, he visited all sorts of interesting places, got some impressive JJJ recognition and has played with likes of Megan Washington, Julia Stone and Lana Del Rey. This is kind of impressive but they're not neccassarily artists I love, so I guess that's how he slipped underneath my 'awesome' radar, but when I saw him with Lorde I knew I'd been missing out on some special talent. That was confirmed when I had the chance to press play on his second EP, Slow Motion Music, released late last week.


Don't let the title fool you, while it describes Oliver's music in a physical way, it doesn't describe how awesomely effective slow motion music can be. Collaborating with numerous people, including Fawn Myers and Hayden Calnin, Oliver Tank has made an EP that is truly mesmerising, a little seven track journey of chilled yet refreshing sounds. Opening with 'Stay', you know where you're heading from the very first notes, into Oliver's delightful world, where everything else disappears and the only important things are the sounds. Fawn Meyers' vocal is stunning and the strings that accompany are captivating. The second track, another collaboration with Hayden Calnin is just as dreamy, although I'm left wondering if some kind of doomsday is on the way, it's fabulously depressing, which is one of my not so secret loves. I can't even tell what the lyrics were to tell whether it is actually a depressing song, but either way, it's deep, resonating sounds are incredibly addictive.


'Time Slows Down When You Walk Into The Room' is another highlight, this is one I was lucky to see live at that Lorde gig and it's one I specifically remember wanting to know the name of that night. Starting so simply, this is the one that stopped me that night and stopped me when I heard it midway through Slow Motion Music, it gave me that feeling I love when I hear new music, that feeling of knowing this is one that's going to stick with me long after the EP is over.


The other collaborations; both 'Different Speed' with Ta-Ku and 'Her' with Stumbleine are stunning, just divine pieces of chilled music, this is the type of music that washes all around you, it encompasses your whole self with every listen and it's such a pleasure to listen to. The fifth track 'Home' uses the sound of strings again, but this time in conjunction with some haunting vocals, the spooky feel is unlike the rest of the EP and that's a fabulous change of pace right when it's needed, enough to keep you listening, to wonder what he could possibly come up with next.


The final track, 'Blessing In Disguise' closes the EP perfectly, a short and sweet track that leaves me wanting more, which is exactly how an EP should leave you feeling. Even though I might be a little late, I'm so glad I finally found Oliver Tank and all his talent now. If you made my mistake and haven't heard any of his work, you should probably find his EP now, before everyone else sees him on his national tour early next year and jumps on the Oliver Tank bandwagon before you. Just saying. If I haven't convinced you enough, beside all his talent, he's kind of cute too. Just saying.

Jo Michelmore gives 'Slow Motion Music' three and a half The xx heads out of five...




Salvage
by MTNS




Let's just make it clear from the start. I think I love MTNS. I saw them play with Avaberee and Iluka earlier this year and although I missed their first song, their music dragged me from the door of the venue right to the front of the stage, there is a magnetic something about the sounds this band creates that I can't get enough of. Seems a few other people have started thinking the same thing too, with a lot of internet and blog interest in this little trio from Brisbane. How awesome, because they clearly have a lot of talent and deserve all the success I'm hoping they achieve in 2014. 


Beside all of that music industry/blog/career chatter though, this is where the magic of music comes into play. That night, when I almost ran from the back of the Black Bear Lodge to the stage to see who was making those magical sounds, they played a song that struck a chord with me, a song I only remembered one line from, but it's a line that means the world; "so put your feet back on the ground and just start walking...". It's a mantra I'm trying to live with at the moment, as my personal 2013 seems to end in a way I never expected, it's a line I keep telling myself and MTNS are a band that have created a song for me to live by, a song that will define a fabulous year of music for me. 


This is the beauty of music, you never know where the songs that mean the most are going to come from; sometimes they're from hugely successful bands that have millions of fans around the world and sometimes they're from bands whose members probably shop at the same supermarkets as you. I hope MTNS manage to make it into the former category, but either way is ok, because it's not so much about the fame and the accolades, it's about the songs that just gets you through the day and through the moments as I put my feet back on the ground as just keep walking into 2014...


Jo Michelmore gives 'Salvage' five Karen O heads out of five...





Nightcall
by LIPS.




There have been so many covers of Kavinsky's 'Nightcall', but New Zealand's LIPS. just might have the best right here. London Grammar's is certainly beautiful, but LIPS. bring a vibrant, upbeat energy to their interpretation that will have your toes tapping along in no time at all. LIPS. is fronted by Stephanie Brown (a cool name if you're a comic nerd, which I am not) who's been calling Brooklyn home for quite some time and there's more than enough NYC 80s electro charm on 'Nightcall' to warrant a ton of repeats. I've been saying this a lot lately (and it is the end of the year so leave me alone), but LIPS is another act that's shooting straight to the top of my artists to watch in 2014 list. Brown is like some awesome Chvrches/La Roux hybrid. What's not to love? With a new EP, Ghosts and Demons, set for release, we won't have long to wait to hear more from this exciting emerging act.

Matt Bond gives 'Nightcall' three and a half Ellie Goulding heads out of five...




Wake Up 
by Foxsmith (out 23 December, 2013)





That bassline! It takes about five seconds for Foxsmith to put a smile on your face with 'Wake Up', the first offering of what I hope is a million plus one (to the power of infinity times two) more tracks from this Brisbane four-piece. Brisbane is home to a huge collection of revival acts with a twist and the ladies of Foxsmith are a fine addition to this assembly, sitting alongside bands like Go Violets, Jeremy Neale and Major Leagues. There's so much to love about 'Wake Up'. Those circling keys that seem just a little too magical for their own good. The smooth and slightly restrained vocals that can best be described as cooler than cool. Those rumbling drums towards the end of the track. There's also a million plus one (to the power of infinity times two) other things to love about 'Wake Up', but you should just go listen to it a million plus one (etc.) times to find them out for yourself. Foxsmith are another act I can't wait to hear more from in 2014.

Matt Bond gives 'Wake Up' four Ellie Goulding heads out of five...




No One Cry
A Musical Collaboration
by Joe Puccio, Fabiola Sanchez and Ken Negrete





Fabiola Sanchez has a uniquely beautiful voice. It's calming, serene and sweet, more than enough to put your mind at ease and it's very likely you'll lose yourself in it, particularly on 'No One Cry'. The track was written by Joe Puccio and produced by Sanchez's frequent collaborator, Ken Negrete (the two have worked together on the sci-fi concept outfit, IconsOfAndria and Familiar Trees). Puccio's lyrics are pretty bleak, which you should probably expect on a track that's labelled a 'Country Pop Dream Doom' song by its vocalist. It's like a dystopian novel, something by Cormac McCarthy... Blood Meridian perhaps? An ode to the mid-west in a post-apocalyptic world. "When the fire burning in your bed has woke you from a dream, or the desert sun releases you from horrors yet unseen, since I failed to take your life away, I'll fail you not again... it's time to die, no one will cry." Sanchez's dreamy vocal is seemingly in opposition to the grim lyrics, but it just makes it more interesting... it's a truly fascinating listen. Here's hoping Puccio, Sanchez and Negrete are planning to work together more in the future. Let's just hope it's not a post-apocalyptic future.
Matt Bond gives 'No One Cry' three and a half Bjork heads out of five...




Heresy Baby 
by Paul Conrad





"Am I asking too much, or do I need some extra patience." Paul Conrad's not an artist I've been familiar with before hearing 'Heresy Baby', but seriously, the haunting quality of his voice is going to be bringing me back for a lot more. 'Heresy Baby' simmers with a touch of dramatic tension throughout the lyrically rich verses before boiling over in time for an explosive and catchy chorus. I love the lines, "you're a heresy baby, follow me, follow me." It's a simple, snappy lyric that's just stuck in my head now. There's a real cinematic quality to the arrangement of the music that will make you want to fist pump, particularly in the build from the final chorus to the stunning conclusion. If you're a fan of Hans Zimmer's score for Inception, you might even notice some stark similarities to the film's motif, presented in the track 'Time'.




Shut up, movie scores are the bomb. And so is 'Heresy Baby' and it sounds like Paul Conrad is too. As we look ahead to 2014, Conrad looks to be one artist to keep your eyes on.

Matt Bond gives 'Heresy Baby' three and a half Jack White heads out of five...




Winter
by Hamish Anderson





From the moment this track started I knew I would like it. The gentle soft strumming of acoustic guitar expertly played with sensitivity by Melbourne singer songwriter Hamish Anderson makes for a sweet and heart felt ballad introduction.


I was reminded of one of my all time favourite artists, the late Nick Drake and his song writing that edged you in to the music waters heart first. Anderson’s voice has a similar quality to Drakes in its soft, mellow yet delightfully somewhat raw tone. Like Drake, Anderson manages to capture you in a way that you know you will be coming back to listen again and again. And when the song is over, you are left wanting more.


This is just beautiful music. Complex finger picking, gorgeous lyrics and a hint of organ to bring the warmth and depth out of the song structure – my ears were taken back down memory lane to moments in my life where the heart was at it’s rawest. It’s the kind of song I could imagine listening to to revel in a heartbreak and pour salt into the wound of a broken dream. But salt is a healing rock. And so is this song.


I love the lyrics “Is young love really meant to make me feel this old?” This is a coming of age song. For this writer the breaking of my heart the first time truly set my soul off onto a journey of self discovery and exploration. Hamish Anderson is about the same age as I was when I first felt the pain that loving brings. “I lost my innocence when I looked into your eyes. I lost all my faith when our words turned to lies”. Indeed.


Sigh. Just perfect.


For such a relatively young artist, Anderson has begun working with some amazing names in the industry (such as Jeff Buckley’s drummer Matt Johnson and the engineer behind Birds of Tokyo and Silverchair – to name just a few). It’s easy to see why people would want to jump on board with this artist.


I would love to see "Winter" played live and to see what other gems come from the heart and imagination of Hamish Anderson.


Lou Endicott gives 'Winter' five Nick Cave heads out of five...




Paris
by Foreign/National




From new indie Melbourne outfit Foreign/National comes this dreamy little track 'Paris'. It’s a summery mix of light organ sounds, mellow jazzy guitar, light drums, bouncy bass and soft whimsical vocals. The vocals in this track reminded me a bit of Alt-J in tone and delivery: it sits in the soft side of lead male singers that have me imagining sitting in the sun on a warm day, laying on a deck chair, sipping a cold one, doing a spot of cloud watching and listening to dreamy sounds.


I have to say that being a lover of words I wish that the band had included lyrics with this track. Lyrically speaking I was unsure of where this song was going. I would not like to try and translate just from listening. The vocals have a laid back and enjoyable lounge feel but are a little undecipherable at times. And I’m not a fan of the misquote! This did not mean I did not enjoy the 'Paris'. It just meant that I had to listen more to this track for it’s sound as opposed to it’s themes and story.


There is an element of something retro going on in this song. It has a little touch of psychedelia to it. Perhaps the dreaminess reminded me of the 60s trippy little track 'Itchycoo Park' by Small Faces in it’s vocals and underlying organ. I really enjoyed the little drum rolls and the tightness of sound and groove that Foreign/National create in this song. The stripped back section also adds another nice layer to this sound. I am always a fan of a bouncy bass mixed with light keys and it’s done nicely here. Perhaps there is a little influence here from French band Air (who are my favourite lounge band).


I will pop 'Paris' onto a playlist for a blue sky summer day.

Lou Endicott gives 'Paris' three and a half Michael Hutchence heads out of five...


NEW MUSIC VIDEOS OF THE WEEK




Bound 2
by Kanye West
Album: Yeezus (out now)





In the interests of full disclosure it’s important that you know I am not the biggest fan of Kanye West. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that I think he’s a talentless, arrogant, wanker. I’ve started to notice lately, however, just how much positive press he’s been getting. Granted, some of that is him singing his own praises. But some media outlets appear hell bent on labelling him as a new aged wonder boy. Me? I don’t get it. I’ve never liked his music, fashion or women. And the fact that he’s a jerk only adds a cherry on my pile of dislike for him.


Many years ago a work colleague introduced me to the saying “open heart, open mind”. Over time it’s evolved into my own personal mantra, and sometimes I like to remind myself of it when I’m being stubborn and judgemental. Enter Kanye West. Yes, that’s right. I recognised that it was time to test my thinking about Kanye. Is he really that bad? Even if he is King Jerk of the Universe, is his music really that bad?


As the film clip for Kanye’s new single ‘Bound 2’ began, I started to think that I’d got it all wrong. The song opens with beautiful keys, with a stunning backdrop of snow-capped mountains and rolling clouds. But then horses start running through the ocean, and I feel the laughter building in my belly. “Open heart, open mind” I chant out loud, in an effort to centre myself. It isn’t long before ole Kanye appears, atop a motorbike, with a hole in his shirt. Seriously dude, all that money and so called fashion sense and you’re wearing clothes with holes in them? Or is this holey look because of his God complex? The laughter starts building in my belly again.


The silhouette of a busty woman lying on top of the motorbike appears on the screen and I find myself thinking “hang on, that looks a bit like Kim Kardashian”. Yeah, it is. The song and film clip have gone to new lows. It’s about now that I realise my “open heart, open mind” ideal is dead. My heart and mind have closed – this song and film clip is shit. I had a feeling at twelve seconds into the song when I saw those horses, but at one minute eight seconds it becomes official.


The rest of the song and clip include monotone rapping, Kim’s face, clouds for days, a moment where Kanye attempts a Jamaican accent, and a really awkward scene on a motorbike where Kim and Kanye appear to be bumping uglies. If their first child is called North don’t be surprised if little baby Harley is welcomed to the world in nine months’ time.


Some other It’s My Kind of Scene contributors have described ‘Bound 2’ as follows: “I felt like I contracted some sort of STI from watching and listening to it” and “My friend showed me that clip for his new 'song' with one of the karfashionisin girls. Considering cleaning ears out with kerosene. And eyes too”.


To answer my earlier questions “Is he really that bad?” and “Even if he is King Jerk of the Universe, is his music really that bad?” - yes and yes. There is no sugar coating it people, this sucks.


Katie Langley gives 'Bound 2' no heads!


and on the other hand...


Bound 2
by Kanye West
Album: Yeezus (out now)




Ah Kanye, I how love thee, let me count the ways...how funny that I would automatically think of such a classic and well known poem (that's by Elizabeth Barrett Browning for those of you who like a little bit of the finer arts every now and then) when I first watched the new clip from Kanye West, for his second single from his critically acclaimed sixth studio album Yeezus. Well, he's certainly no classic poet and he's certainly not an amazing writer and anyone who has been lucky enough to see him play live knows he can't dance to save his life and singing is a little bit of an issue too, but there's one thing Kanye proves with the clip for 'Bound 2' and you know what that is? Kanye does whatever the f**k Kanye wants and like it or not, he doesn't give a f**k.


Yes, I'm a Kanye fan. A big Kanye fan. Yes, he's a misogynist, you only have to listen to a couple of minutes of any number of his songs to know that. Yes, he's a wanker, you only have to listen to a couple of minutes of any number of his songs to know that. Yes, he's arrogant, you only have to listen to a couple of minutes of any number of his songs to know that....see a pattern here? The thing is, no matter how many of these things are true, I still like him. Why? Because not all music is meant to change the world. Not all clips are meant to be arty, or perfect, or that good really, or are even meant to make you contemplate your place in the world, or make a difference. While some manage to do those things, some have one job and ultimately, that job is to sell a song.


I'm not going to deny how unimpressive this clip is. Katie said it all. Kim Kardashian doing what Kim Kardashian does best (insert deer in headlights look here) and Kanye does what Kanye does best (insert bad dancing and arrogance here). This clip is like almost every other rap clip I've ever watched, insert woman in very little clothing, insert rapper, bad editing, irrelevant imagery. It's just another crap rap clip. Why is this one any worse than any other? It's not, but the fact that Katie and I both have opinions about the clip means the clip is doing exactly what it was designed to do; get someone, anyone, talking about Kanye West, which means somewhere in the world someone is buying a Kanye song or album right now. Sometimes you watch a crap clip (this one obviously deliberatley bad) or an amazing clip and momentarily forget the music industry is a commercial business, which means it's especially interesting that this video clip was directed by a guy who has worked with (read: been paid by) a whole lot of artists that one wouldn't necessarily associate with Kanye West; artists like Bjork, David Bowie, Paul Weller, Elvis Costello, Gwen Stefani and Massive Attack. What a small and interesting place the music business/industry is!


Every now and then Kanye pushes some boundaries and makes a political statement or two and the rest of the time he's busy putting his foot in his mouth and offending someone. In this clip, he's done a bit of both. You only have to google 'Bound 2 Kanye' to see the reaction. There are those that think it's cheap and nasty, there are those that are offended by the blatant sexual images, there are those that just feel a little sick from it all (hello fellow It's My Kind Of Scene bloggers!) but here's the interesting thing; the political side of it? Well, with his super bad clip, Kanye has done something he does really well, he's made an object of women yet again and you know what that means? It's the Miley Cyrus syndrome all over again. It's awesome, because it means people are talking about women and the images of women the media and the music industry portrays, it means there's thoughts about how women are perceived and treated and whether those perceptions and reactions are positive or negative. As far as I'm concerned, any talk is better than none because it means there's more chance that those misogynists in every single industry and the world are being exposed for what they are and more and more people, both men and women, aren't accepting of their ways.


So while Katie gives 'Bound 2' no heads, I'm going to swing the other way. This clip is terrible. Terribly awesome. Beside the reasons I've already stated, there's one thing I didn't mention. Wow, did I laugh the first time I saw this and there's no way I can't love something that made me laugh, out loud, lots. Because it's Kanye doing what Kanye does best and not denying the wanker he is, it's Kanye being the loser I love. More foot in mouth, more crap clips, more music that I love to dance to please Kanye! How hilarious. How fun. More more more!


Jo Michelmore gives 'Bound 2' four heads out of five...




Fool 
by Sarah Blasko 
Album: I Awake (out now)



On an album full of gorgeous pop gems, 'Fool' stood out on I Awake as one of the most 'take your breath away because I just punched you in the guts' moments. Yes, those are moments. Sometimes. It was most excellent to see 'Fool' get the video treatment, especially in the capable hands of its very creative director, Wilk, who knows how to work a black and white video (see Blasko's previous video for 'All of Me' and Ella Hooper's 'Low High'). Ms Blasko always manages to pull off that effortlessly cool look, achieved here by wearing a simple white button-up. It sure ain't flashy, but she looks cooler than I ever will. The clip appears to be quite simple at the start too, focused on Blasko in a similar fashion to 'All of Me' (with more clothing), with a repeated flashing light illuminating proceedings. And then some interesting things start happening in Blasko's face region. The first couple of times it might not really register. You'll likely be convinced the light is playing a trick on your eyes, but rest assured, it's not. I don't have much of an explanation for the various distortions that play out across our leading lady's face, but it wouldn't be a classic Sarah Blasko clip without some quirks, right? Is it all just Sarah Blasko playing the fool? I can't say for sure, but it all makes for one intriguing music video.


Matt Bond gives the video for 'Fool' three Florence Welch heads out of five...




Sparrow
by We Are The Brave
EP: Noctua (out now)





It's not like I haven't seen a clip set in a strip club before, some of my favourite clips have been set in strip clubs and dodgier places. It's not like I didn't see the fight coming in this clip, there was just something brewing with all the shots of the guys watching the incredibly talented pole dancers do their thing on stage. What I didn't predict with this clip though was just how beautifully shot it is and therefore how addictive it is. Like when I first heard 'Sparrow' on Noctua and couldn't stop listening, I just couldn't stop watching this clip from Sydney based We Are The Brave, who manage to combine some fabulous 80s inspired sounds with delicious vocals and catchy tunes. This isn't the clip was expecting for this awesome little track, but I can't actually remember what i was expecting, because the images I now see are better than anything I could have imagined.

Jo Michelmore gives Sparrow three and a half Kylie heads out of five...




'Go With It' and 'Inner Place'
by Glassmaps




A member of one of my fave Aus bands has gone solo and by all counts so far, he’s creating a bunch of little baubles that have me all a fluster. Yes, Joel Stein is one of the members of the very attractive indie pop band Howling Bells and over the past year has been gradually uploading a few songs here ‘n’ there. For at least a handful of us these ditties are hitting the right chords and quite simply I want to share the love.


‘Go With It’ is the most recent video uploaded and is delivered as a lo-fi, trotting, acoustic strummer that for some reason makes me think of ‘The Little Engine That Could’ that I once performed in a primary school choir. No I’m not saying it’s daggy or juvenile, I’m saying it’s grounding and contemplative, with beautiful and challenging sentiments I can relate to, “Why does it always have to change?” It’s all those things minus the gut wrenching fear and feelings of passing out I had performing as a ten year old.


Acoustic simplicity and soft meandering melodies make Glassmaps feel like a modern incarnation of a band like America from the 70s. I want to lie down in a hammock under a tree and watch the clouds pass while I imagine making out with Joel in between burst of him serenading me and feeding me tropical fruits. Oh did I mention how handsome Joel is? So not only is he a great writer of folksy/bluesy acoustic pop, with a voice soft and sweet like marshmallow but he’s a treat on the eyes too. So what? I’m shallow at times okay.




Another beautiful morsel is shared on ‘Inner Place’ which takes me straight back to pre-Howling Bells days of Waikiki where Joel’s vocals had more of a featuring role in the band. Some might feel a Radiohead influence in the melodies that gently meander around the confessional lyrics that seem to lament past human interactions. The whole mood of the song is carried along the long mournful notes of the accompanying cello, that stir chills down my spine.


If you’re already familiar with either Howling Bells or Waikiki, I can pretty much promise you’ll have a whole lot of love for Glassmaps, likewise if you generally love good acoustic indy pop with hints of 70s folk and a penchant for romantic and sentimental/contemplative themes then I highly recommend you cash in a little spare time to have a listen to Glassmaps.

Nayt Housman gives both 'Go With It' and 'Inner Place' four and a half Thom Yorke heads out of five...