BBC Planning to Launch New Music Show: Top Gear for Music!

The Times claim that senior BBC executives have approached independent production companies asking them to help develop a “Top Gear for music” to debut next year.

The BBC are planning on producing a pilot in the coming mosts and have already approached major record labels for access to their new videos and artists. Additionally, the show wont have a chance to appear on BBC 1 or BBC 2, but its scheduled to run on BBC 3.

A BBC spokesperson says, “We are constantly discussing new ideas for pop music, but we currently have no plans to announce for any of our television networks.

Music Review: Dot Dot Dot – E.P II

I am often ridiculed for my fandom of pop music. I do see most pop music for what it is, don’t get me wrong, I just don’t think there’s anything wrong with liking well constructed, musically solid and perfectly produced pop songs. Obviously there isn’t anything wrong with it – aside from people being allowed the freedom to think whatever the hell they like about anything (the bastards!!!) most pop music has been purpose written to appeal to as many people as possible. You might say “oh, but it’s so commercial”, well, so is Pepsi (or any other drink you might care to imagine) but you enjoy it, so lap it up. You could also say “but it’s also shallow, it means nothing”, the same could be said of action films, most television, most ‘serious’ music if we’re being honest. You don’t go to McDonalds for fine cuisine, but you probably do go. Think about it and get over yourself. Shall we move on?

So, now I suppose your expecting me to gush over some bubblegum, smile-a-thon pop music? You’re wrong. Dot Dot Dot have everything correct on paper. The music is fun, tight, eclectic and follows a perfect formula resulting in energetic and effective highs and lows. The band are trendy, good looking and doubtlessly talented. Big ticks all over place.

Why then have I gone to the bother of explaining why I like pop music before talking about the band in any depth? I did this because despite knowing all the above of pop music and being a large defender and apologist of its obvious flaws, my main complaint with Dot Dot Dot exposes me as a massive hypocrite – I hate the vocals and lyrics for their total lack of depth.
Sweet Lucifer, I’ve never heard such annoying bilge in my entire life and I happily listen to McFly by choice.

The first song ‘Walking In A Straight Line’ is less a victim of the above than other songs on the E.P. Although the vocals are essentially just playing the role of cheerleader for this uptempo fun-fumble, they are not in anyway out of place and in this particular song, chanted counting in to the chorus and easily remembered repeated lines add to the excitement. It’s also nice to hear a mix of male and female vocals.

Sadly things take an immediate turn for the worse when we are confronted with the E.P’s second track ‘Around The World And Back’ (video below). An excellent opening that doesn’t sound dissimilar from The Cure’s ‘Close To Me’ is quickly ruined by some extraordinarily breathy and annoying vocals (think James Blunt with asthma and American). A similar story in the chorus; lovely chord progressions, fun and poppy synth lines completely destroyed by lyrics so heavily littered with the word “love” and little else you won’t be able to stop cringing, retching or self harming.
This song is the biggest victim of the E.P’s tasteless vocal assault, but it’s a repeat offender and sadly every song is to some degree plagued by this nuisance.

Final track ‘Hold You Tonight’ is to my ears the most obvious single on the album and has by far the most catchy lyrics and tune. It is a pretty flawless pop song in which everything is entirely bearable including a guitar solo.

There are plenty of artists that I’ve remained a fan of despite terrible lyrics and vocals, Biffy Clyro and probably being the best example of that. This should have been the case with Dot Dot Dot. I know some people have a better tolerance for these things than me and it’s entirely possible that a lot of you might like this music, so I’ll leave you with a music video to watch and if you like that you can consider buying the E.P by clicking here.

If you would like to be reviewed the please get in touch on twitter @monkeyhotel

Jimmy Eat World – My Best Theory (And Other Treats)

Good morning and welcome to your bank holiday weekend. I hope you’re doing something fun. I’m working every day of it so whilst I hope you’re doing something fun, I also hope it gets ruined by British bank holiday weather. If you do find yourself stuck in a flat watching the rain you’ll probably want some music to make your disappointment slightly easier to swallow.

A good place to start this weekend is with Jimmy Eat World’s new single ‘My Best Theory’. I had completely forgotten that this band even existed and to be honest the song isn’t my thing at all, but they have always seemed like such nice guys and been so good with the internet that I had to add this link. Please listen.

My Best Theory by jimmyeatworld

Next is an album mash up by The Glitch Mob. If you don’t know much about them, I suggest you visit their website by clicking here. Here they have condensed an album by Everything Everything into one track.

Everything Everything – Man Alive – The Glitch Mob Album Mash Up by EverythingEverything

And finally a PsyTrancey/Housey electro nonsense play list from an artist I’ve discovered called Tomsun.

Psyn by tomsun-uk

Right, that should be enough to get you through the afternoon.

Have a nice weekend.

Inkysmudge – Victims Of The Internet

The internet is a wonderful thing. It has liberated the small artist and gifted them complete freedom over the release of their work. The result of this is artists who would have 10 years ago had no chance of building up a fan base outside of their home town can build intimate relationships through their music with people living anywhere in the world. What an age we live in! Music being in ‘the cloud’ excites me more than music being in a live venue. This is why I was delighted yesterday to hear that Alex Ljung had made it onto the Top 30 Power Players Under 30 Billboard list:

Where then is the downside to all this modern age tomfoolery? Well, with such freedom artists hypothetically have nothing stopping them from releasing as much music as they want, which *might* cloud their judgment and on occasion disable their quality control filter. As a result a good artist could have their image tainted  by releasing a few too many duds that a record label may have advised against.

Hello Inkysmudge! Does any of the above sound familiar?

The band have released 4 albums/E.P’s in 9 months according to their website. They are a band that I think perfectly demonstrate my above point. I don’t dislike Inkysmudge by any stretch of the imagination, at their best they reminded me of early Eels and seem extraordinarily charismatic.

Linked below is a track that I was emailed by a member of the band which he described as “the most representative” example of their work. Fine. It’s a perfectly good song that I’m sure many of you will like. The problem is that if you go to their website you will find far too many songs that sound pretty darn similar.

My initial aim was to review a record of theirs, but sadly I found all four too hard to tell apart and released too close together. Instead I published this rather unkind attack, which Inkysmudge certainly don’t deserve to have aimed entirely at them.

I hope that my thoughts have at least entertained you.

Under The Power Lines by Inkysmudge

Jimmy Page’s First Book Priced At £445

Former Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page is set to release his first book at the price of £445.

The self-titled photo-autobiography will document the guitarist’s career with over 500 pages and feature around 650 images, a wealth of iconic and unseen photos including some from his own archive. His first official published work will be presented as a hand-crafted book.

Released on September 27 through Genesis Publications, each book will come signed by the guitarist and is limited to just 2500 copies.

For more information and to pre-order the book, visit, and can try your luck at buying one of the soon-to-be collectors items here.

Phish Announce a New US Tour – Fans Get Free Recordings if You Buy a Ticket

American band Phish has just concluded their huge summer tour of the US and they have just announced their new US tour. The tour will start with Austin City Limits Festival on October 8th then hop on over to Colorado and then skip back over to the east side of the States to end in New Jersey on October 31st.

According to their website and, Phish fans who buy tickets will receive a free recording of the entire show that’s been mixed and polished up – all of that within just an hour after the show.

Phish Fall 2010 Tour Dates:

  • 10/08 – Austin, TX @ Austin City Limits Festival – SOLD OUT
  • 10/10 – Broomfield, CO @ 1STBANK Center
  • 10/11 – Broomfield, CO @ 1STBANK Center
  • 10/12 – Broomfield, CO @ 1STBANK Center
  • 10/15 – North Charleston, SC @ North Charleston Coliseum
  • 10/16 – North Charleston, SC @ North Charleston Coliseum
  • 10/19 – Augusta, ME @ Augusta Civic Center
  • 10/20 – Utica, NY @ Utica Memorial Auditorium
  • 10/22 –  Providence, RI @ Dunkin Donuts Center
  • 10/23 – Amherst, MA @ Mullins Center
  • 10/24 – Amherst, MA @ Mullins Center
  • 10/26 –  Manchester, NH @ Verizon Wireless Arena
  • 10/29 – Atlantic City, NJ @ Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall
  • 10/30 – Atlantic City, NJ @ Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall
  • 10/31 – Atlantic City, NJ @ Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall

Midweek Music Suggestions – 25/08/2010

Well here we all are then, eh? Wednesday. I suppose that means I should give you some new music to listen to…

Just the two again this week. Thanks for all your emails and tweets about this – I am trying to fit everything in but it’s not always possible.

If you want to be included in my Midweek Music Suggestions at some point, then please get in touch; or on twitter @monkeyhotel

First up is a very new and potentially very special man who I know little about, but hope to learn more in the coming months. This little gem of a track from Lee Royster has been my find of the week and although it’s the only thing of his I’ve heard so far, I strongly urge you to keep an eye on his work.

Lee Royster – Around The Bend by Lee Royster

Next (and finally) a band I’ve wanted to blog about for a while, but couldn’t work out exactly what to say of them. It’s a common occurrence in my life that I want to like a band more than I actually do. Avenge Vulture Attack have had rather the opposite affect on me; I want to hate them and their playful enthusiasm, but for some reason their youthful tomfoolery and excellent musicianship bypasses the jaded cynic in me and reminds me of a simpler time. Check out their website and buy their music here.

Run Around by Avenge Vulture Attack