Something For The Weekend – Sub Pop Special

I imagine that one or two of you will have already heard this or at least be aware of it, but those excellent chaps over at Sub Pop records have made an A-Z playlist entitled “Track of the 1990’s”. If you don’t know a great deal about this record label I urge you to educate yourself by reading this wiki entry on them, then hopefully you will stop living in such absurd ignorance and understand just how important this record label is and what it has done for modern music.

Sub Pop Staff Lists: Top Sub Pop Tracks of the 1990s: A-K by subpop

Sub Pop Staff Lists: Top Sub Pop Tracks of the 1990s: L-R by subpop

Sub Pop Staff Lists: Top Sub Pop Tracks of the 1990s: S-Z by subpop

Lightning Strikes The Empire State – Overnight Lows

Popular music is a game of phases; it meanders like a sine wave between underground and overground, between fashion and old news. A few days ago the BBC were compelled to report that ‘rock anthems were vanishing from the charts’ with the news that only 5 of the 100 best-selling singles of the year were classed as rock, and one of those was by Pendulum. Bad news for guitar bands? Not at all. Now is the perfect time to sharpen the axes, write the songs, replace the old shoes and pull up from the darkness.

Lurking in this mist waits the unsigned Lightning Strikes The Empire State (LSTES), sending up a distress flare in the shape of their E.P Overnight Lows, which is a curiosity well worth £1.99 of your earned pennies. Their sound is a blend of recognizably hip and agile new wave influences, but it is soiled with library book dust and English ale, with a hint of everyday bitterness.

Opener Happy Slaves has a Strokes-style tropicana that rolls like splashy polynesian waves, with singer James – a kind of middle management Morrissey – declaring ‘it isn’t the worst, and it isn’t the best but it’s a life’, speaking for all the semi-suited trying to make sense of their working life. Sharp Sticks sounds a little like a haunted house ride with its outbreaks of sudden laughter and its mock-gloom. It is a shame that its main riff is a little tired and straight in comparison.

There is much confusion to be found in Tie Yourself To Me Tonight. James begins in whispery and wistful mood, but as chopping guitars enter the mood is broken and the song becomes difficult to navigate. A pretty breakdown of chiming midnight guitars is the highlight and there is a beautiful symphonic ballad hidden somewhere beneath the arrangement. Perhaps they will find it one day? You First is a more finished affair and has a danceable !!! groove sandwiched between it’s marching verses. And although it’s definitely a little ragged in places, the cross-fingered vocal hook is catchy enough to make this unimportant.

It’s a fairly pleasant journey to the last track, but it’s on Daylight Saving when the band really make their claim for your ears, your air bass, your singalong voice and your precious time. Magazine, Futureheads and even a touch of ABBA all are put into this 5 minute mixture, and they mix very very well. Download it, enjoy it, tell your friends about it; rarely do unsigned bands release something as good as this.

Purchase Overnight Lows at LSTES’s Bandcamp.

Plan B To Perform at Fonejackers Charity Event

Star of Fonejacker and Facejacker Kayvan Novak is set to play his first live set in London at the end of the month. To bolster up the gig Plan B will also be performing (I saw Plan B perform at Newquay Boardmasters last month and thought he was terrible!).

The Party For Pakistan charity event will take place at the O2 Academy Islington on September 29. Four Lions actor and rapper Riz MC, Akala and Aggro Santos are among the other acts on the bill.

Proceeds from ticket sales will go to the Disasters Emergency Committee, which aims to help victims of the recent floods in Pakistan.

Getting Younger and Younger: 9 Year Old Willow Smith is the Next Pop Princess

Will Smith’s 9 year old daughter, Willow Smith, is just starting her own pop music career. I find it very strange how the music industry provides opportunities to 9 year olds (who’s last name happens to be Smith!) instead of people with actual talent!

Although in the words of Idolator: this track is steps above anything Heidi Montag has vomited out of the studio.

Weezer Partner with Hurley Clothing Label for Promo on New Album

It seems like Weezer focused on calling their new album Hurley to have a better chance at branding products around the album. Weezer has teamed up with Nike-owned surf and skateboard clothing label Hurley on a promotional collaboration that ties in directly with the title of the band’s upcoming album, Hurley.

This clothing collection will be limited edition and is scheduled to be available in PacSun stores in the US tomorrow.

Darren Hayman & The Secondary Modern Release Free Single and Official Video

Here is the new video and free download from Darren Hayman & The Secondary Modern. The track is “Calling Out Your Name Again”, which is scheduled to be reelased October 11. Here is what Darren had to say about the new video and release:

A few friends who have already seen this video have said that I have too much time on my hands. This isn’t true, but I do have a compulsive nature and when I start something, I mean to finish it. No idea is too stupid for me to pursue and time and effort shouldn’t be the reason for not doing something. I am currently building a life size model of my dog out of Lego. No, really I am.

This video is made using one sheet of card that is constantly scanned in between me drawing or erasing or painting over parts of it. I had no concious plan or storyboard though I would occasionally draw something that reflected a line from the song. The main thing was put Radio 4 on, make a cup of tea, then draw, scan, draw, scan, draw, scan etc.

It took about 2 months. I won’t be doing it again. I hope you like it.

Calling Out Your Name Again from Darren Hayman on Vimeo.

Darren Hayman & The Secondary Modern – ‘Calling Out Your Name Again’ by LukeSlater

Amy Winehouse Performs on Quincy Jones’ Upcoming Album

I cant believe Amy Winehouse is still alive! Anyways, Amy Winehouse has recorded a new track on Quincy Jones’ upcoming album. The album is a celebration of Jone’s past hits and Winehouse will be providing vocals on a new rendition of Lesley Gore’s “It’s My Party.”

According to the Associated Press, Winehouse also reunited with producer Mark Ronson for the track. It’s not really new material since it’s a cover but it’ll be nice to hear Winehouse sing again.

The album is slated for a release in November and will also feature other artists such as Usher, Ludacris, Akon, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, T-Pain, LL Cool J and more.

MTV Music Group is the Largest Online Music Destination According to ComScore

MTV has bounced back from the disappointment of the last few years and it is now the largest online music destination according to ComScore. The MTV Music Group had over 53 million unique visitors for August, which included sites like MTV.com, VH1.com and CMT.com combined. It’s a 165% year-over-year increase.

Vevo came in second on the list at 49.3 million, MySpace Music third at 26.3 million, AOL Music fourth at 21.9 million, and ToneFuse Media fifth at 19.1 million.

MTV says it is working on additional digital music initiatives set to launch before the end of the year, including an in-development new music site.