EMI is praying that Santa is generous this season as it stares down a major post-Christmas payment due on £2.7 billion in loans from Citigroup. UK analysts are warning that EMI must generate significant cash by March to meet its obligations, If not, Terra Firma, the private-equity which bought EMI for £2.4 billion and already added £10 million three months ago to avoid default could be forced to inject more funds.
This is pretty glorious, melodic pop. A nice heavy piano and loads of vocal harmonies back up a soaring lead vocal, tickled at by cheeky little basslines that pull the songs along, just pausing every now and then for a little Stevie Wonder minor change before bounding off again to let the guitarist romp through a few flowerbeds and chase some other guitarists round the park. There are echoes of Ryan Jones (from one of RouteNote’s other bands, The Hitchcock Rules) in the front man’s voice, or Ben Folds, to make a more widely comprehensible comparison. Buy it if you like Ben Folds Five, the Beautiful South, Phoenix, or puppies. Great production for an indie band, too.
Ah Metal: the world would be a worse place without it. Lots of people with long hair and tight black clothing with loads of studs and lace all over the place, shaking their fists and ebon locks in worship of the dark. Triaxis seem to me to be of the more operatic kind of metal, although they’ll probably balk at the comparison, the front-woman’s voice is big and clear on the sustained notes she sings in songs about thrones and flames and stuff, maintaining an easy superiority over the chunking guitars and solidly, rapidly thumping kick, and I do dearly love a song that youn can go Hunhrgh! in the middle of. Angry Welsh Metal: Brilliant.
Jangly, jarring tunes over uncomfortable electronic backgrounds somehow come together as a coherent and listenable whole, and then give way to slow, gentle guitars and violins and spoken samples. Something like Modest Mouse making an album with Boards Of Canada when they were feeling nice and relaxed one weekend round at Lemon Jelly’s house. Despite the awkward bits in this album, I somehow get the feeling that someone nearby was making a blackberry and apple crumble they were all going to enjoy once the recording session was over. Especially on this track:
A long, personal album from this folk-tinged singer song writer. Layered guitars and Bon Iver like vocal harmonies blend amongst each other in tracks like ‘Flesh and Bone’, lamenting fifths in ‘Matuit’ bring the Kinks and the Beatles to mind, in a feeling that is somewhat continued in simple, humour filled, more upbeat numbers like My Head Is A Balloon’. Gentle, interesting, and intimate.
This is definitely a first, Goldie Lookin’ Chain are holding a pay-what-you-want gig.
The band are holding a warm-up show for their next UK tour in January at Metro in London.
Here’s the blurb:
“Entry to this Metro show is FREE, however, taking a leaf out of Radiohead’s book, you will be expected to pay as much (or as little) as you like on your way out depending on how much fun you had (but you don’t get a free Radiohead album). It’s a bit like the Severn bridge toll into Wales, but in reverse.”
Memotone is somewhere between Lemon Jelly and the Cinematic Orchestra, which for a one man act, recording on an 8 track and a laptop is a pretty incredible achievement. William Yates has put together a bewilderingly large array of instruments into a really crystal clear, deep and textured soundscape, blending live instruments, samples, glitchy computer noises and sound effects like air raid sirens, lairy kids arguing in corridors and canned laughter. There are odd moments of humour and unease, drifting clouds of sound, sharp beats that bring you back to your senses and then drop away again to let warm, live double bass lines pour into your ears and build into complex little sonic poems that wrap back to the beats. I really like it. If I wasn’t already listening to it, I would buy a copy. In fact, petition him to get vinyl pressed, so I can buy a copy.
Qtrax has released a press release this morning stating that they have finally signed Sony BMG to their catalogue.
Qtrax is a legal P2P downloading service. In January 2008, Qtrax was overeager to announce it’s launch during the Midem conference and misrepresented ongoing negotiations and expired deals with major recording labels as being signed deals.
Qtrax is a very interesting service that has never really lived up to expectations. I’m keen to see how the service grows and if they can actually deliver decent royalty rates for the content providers. Here at RouteNote we are always looking for the next site to take off and Qtrax is definitely in the mix.
There’s a lot of music on this album. Not just in the sense that there are 14 meaty tracks on it, but in that each one has been painstakingly written and composed. The album would feel uncomfortable being limited by a single genre, so I’ll just slop it into ‘Rock’, and then qualify it with a lot of competing styles: Coup d’Etat is soaked in drawling Country and Western guitars, with a shuffling drumbeat and a simple guitar riff riding over and under the backing and vocals. There are thumping, stadium rock beats, trashy, crashy indie guitar riffs and stabs, bluesy organs, aching prog rock dissonances and breaks, and a whole gamut of influences competing for space and attention in this music. The twin Ariadne’s threads of the album are front-man Ryan Jones’ allusive writing style, liberally peppered with literary references, and his voice, which is very mobile and fluid, and usually backed up with complex overdubbed harmonics. A fast paced, stomping, pop-tastic, sing-along chorus-fest of an album.
Amazon has just launched their Mp3 Music store in the UK. The store can be found at http://mp3.amazon.co.uk. The simple-to-use digital music store offering over 3 million DRM-free (Digital Rights Management) songs which will work on any MP3 player including the iPod™- with top-selling albums from just £3 and individual songs from 59p.
Amazon Mp3 UK has all four major labels signed up, SonyBMG, Universal Music, EMI Music and Warner Music – and leading independents such as Cooking Vinyl, Harmonia Mundi, Beggars Banquet, The Orchard, Concord and IODA.