Category Archives: Articles

Bloc Party o2 academy Glasgow October 2012

Or Block Party with a K as my pass said. I like that. It indicates a level of unpretentiousness, like ‘who? block huh? ok, cool, well I guess they can play. So long as they clean up after.’ Which seems acceptable. Even Roger Daltrey did a bit of  hoovering.

The relatively young kids from Bloc opened with new tracks from their latest album Four but we all (people I call friends or other lost but worthy souls) were wishing they had launched the night with Kettling as its becoming a fast favourite. They did play and nail it later, or kettled it if you will. Bloc before part B have also encouraged me to utter the phrase ‘I fucking love kettling’ in day to day life which is another unexpected bonus from the album.

The academy is a beautiful venue and the sound bloomed up to its vast ornate ceiling while lasers danced across the cornicing. It was a little sweaty and the crowd were definitely more enamoured of the more established tracks like Banquet, Helicopter and Two More Years but in the ‘pit’ there was a good and gorgeous wave of limbs dancing excited by pumping limbic systems.

Octopus was another highlight and is a tune as addictive as it is likely to encourage mimacry while ignoring a loved ones pleas for help lifting a fallen bookcase off their body as you air drum into space.

The thing about Bloc Party what with their appearence on the OC soundtrack is that sometimes you think of them as being kind of mellow or pretty indie but seeing them live reminds you they just fucking rock. They should call them Rock Party and in France they would call them Party Rock and they would be hunted with only their cunning to protect them.

In conclusion buy the album and if you see them live there’s a good chance your dreams will be more colourful as result.

Man as a genre

I mean this as in calling groups things like boy band/girl band – so being a boy or girl is somehow the same as playing blues music or funk music or rave music or rock music or repeat into Amoeba shelving infinity. You need not have any kind of recognisable shape to your noise – you just need to stand there in a group with the appropriate genitalia and fame will roll out ahead of like a languid serpent tongue.

TEENAGE BOY AS THEME – the theme of awkward sexual awakening? This, THIS is what you want your band to be known for?! That is literally the worst phase of anyones life. The surging hormones, the desperate search for identity, the shattering of childhood illusions, far more suitable for metal than pop really.

I would say many of the people in ‘boy bands’ could no longer legitimately call themselves boys. Many are far beyond bar mitzvah age. Although, and this is absolutely true, I was in a local museum (it happens) recently and saw a flyer with a group of what I perceived to be 2nd year high school students doing a poorly budgeted watered down stage version of Mad Max 3 but what I was swiftly informed was actually a paper promotion for a group of people known as One Direction.  I assume the direction in question is that of down. To hell. A special, special hell.

There is no need for this ‘boy band’ shite. The same goes for girl band, obviously. I’ve seen male and female humanoids of all ages master a tambourine.

It’s a bit like calling someone a child actor. They ‘act’ as children. That is fucking creepy. It also usually means their careers are doomed.

eine kleine hochzeit nachtmusik

At any gathering where a cross-section of ages come together, such as a wedding, for some reason venue organisers (or whoever) like to imagine they can appeal to everyone by playing shite bland music. Perhaps its a case of rather than offend one specific group they reckon its safer to make everyone pissed off  by subjecting them to Katie Melua.

Enough, I say enough!

Weddings are sappy as hell, you’ve found another human being who has agreed to actually become entwined in your fucked up family and you theirs. That’s big stuff. Well done.

Invariably you are walking a tight rope of appropriateness to the occasion and being forced to play Adele. So here I list some alternatives to a Take That medley.

Percy Sledge – not a dry eye in the house.

Black Keys – Your Touch, you will be getting some!

Elbow – best only to attempt this if you can get the full orchestra.

King Blues – My Boulder, one for the whole gathering. Assuming you invited your friends.

Reuben – Nobody loves you like I do. So calm down. It’s all fine.

If the whole thing has gone sour then at least mutually destroy each other with style –

Or you could just make everyone uncomfortable, except possibly your paramour. If they are into that kind of thing.

If you don’t like these choices, I have others but I don’t really care if you don’t. Why are you on this blog at all – the internet is vast – go make your own damned playlist!

Much love Hella x

Jaqen h’ghar, a blogger must have a post!

Well, its been many moons since I took a look around these here parts but two things drew me back to Hellagood. TWO THINGS.

Thing one – GRIMES. I totally missed Claire Boucher when she first popped up (because I am old and uncool. I am 29 (DJ age 25) and no longer culturally relevant.) but now I am in LOVE WITH HER.

She’s Canadian, on 4AD and more of a renaissance woman than a musician what with the visual art in her videos. The sound is like medieval techno or at least that’s what I’m getting. A wall of noise surrounding the adventures of a Baroque Tron.

The desert, the sky, Brooke Candy as a shiny gravity defying lollipop sucking warrior. Grimes as a Boudica Sailor Moon. It all dreamy and beautiful and I cannot get it out of my head. THE FLAMING SWORD.

I’m also deep digging this track –

I’ve not been this excited about an artist since Bjork. She was already in Glasgow back in the Spring and now I must wait with clenched fist and narrowed eyes fixated on the horizon for her return.

Thing two – TRUCKFIGHTERS.

So yeah, it was WORTH coming back. I felt compelled. Expect a Bloc Party review later this month. And perhaps some more of my hilarious shambling ramblings.

More Videos and stuff maybe some news or something

Hello pop pickers,

I don’t have a theme for today’s update so it’s just going to be a mashup of stuff.

Lately I have caught the blogging bug but my computer is still dead so I must steal other peoples, mainly working off a 7 year old mac laptop which I have to borrow. I have my own ‘serious’ blog and I work on other ‘serious’ multimedia stuff at work.

So the blinding frustration of having a million ideas for online things for my valued readers to enjoy but can’t express continues apace. Damn.

Anyway on to things I can link –

Mike Relm creates a mix of Scott Pilgrim’s Sex Bob-omb and Ludacris’ How Low. Subject matter aside, its awesome, guy.

I love Mike Relm’s little chats at the end of his mixes. He engages well with his audience so if you have questions, post them on his youtube page as he is likely to answer the least and most ridiculous ones.

Next up –

Diego Stocco’s music from a tree. Yup, all from a tree. Hands up that’s a persistent man. The kind of mind which can imagine the song before they figure out how to make the sounds is to be admired, as is the chutzpah to forge ahead and actually make it happen.

Imogen Heap is working on some new things, you can watch and listen to her singing along to her favourite bit HERE.

So, the Tinthepark line up is up and tickets are on sale. Hmm, feels a bit of a mishmash and maybe not in the best possible Kenny Everett taste. All this chat about diversifying festivals away from just being ‘rock’ or ‘indie’ or whatever and including other acts is in the immortal words of Kesha – blah blah blah – yeah, because you’re not ACTUALLY doing that are you, you’re just shoving in whatever the biggest selling artists are, regardless of genre. They aren’t making sure to book a wide variety of styles and source talented musicians to create a one off cultured experience – why bother, no-one would pay 250 for a ticket to listen to someone they don’t know. Which is reasonable. I first went to T in the Park in 1999, my weekend ticket (not camping, bus journey baby!) was £58 I think. For two WHOLE DAYS. I know they’ve extended the days and added more people but that halcyon independence cherry popping festival trip was magical. The weather was good, the bands were great, the buses plentiful on time and clean AND you could easily navigate from one stage to another to see as many bands as possible. Now I look at it and it looks like Dante’s seventh circle of hell. There’s some kind of competitive element now, much more focus on the ‘experience’, pushing and shoving your way to the front and drinking as much as possible, as opposed to the love of music in a wonderful escapist utopia for a weekend. I know I’m rose tinting it up, a lot, but the fact remains that modern festivals have become a massive advertising platform, too big, too expensive, too crowded and too focused on mobile technology. This is the way of modern music industry though, people aren’t buying records so it’s left to live performances to make money.

But its not all doom and gloom, as a reaction to the changes other festivals have sprung up. The rise in popularity of ‘going to gigs’ as a pastime is a good thing for the sector and community as a whole (not for music ‘geeks’ anymore  now everyone has a show to go to). However we have a responsibility not to let any one company dominate. Your pound is your voice, think about what you’re buying and from whom, otherwise all we will have is a visit to the o2 pleasure dome when we need a break from the Tesco/Wallmart hospital, university and funeral home.

Anyway if you actually made it this far you deserve a fab ice lolly. Much love Hella xx

Lyric Inspector – Ke$ha aka Filthy Sex Robot

The creature known as Kesha is that rarest of pop birds (not a derogatory term for women – I mean winged beings of the skies) who is not preened and perfected. Not for her is the road of high maintenance, the pure glamour and glossy style of Beyonce,  nor the edgy tailored brights of Rhianna, not even the haute couture of Lady Gaga, for all this she cries No! Kesha will not be swayed by looking polished, she is who she R. She is Kesha – shambolic glittered DECONSTRUCTION. I declare her style to be filthy sex robot, like you might find stumbling around a universe created as the bastard love child of Mad Max, Terminator and Total Recall, looking for a phat industrial beat to dance the night away. The Kesha, or FSR, look is in fact a kind of re-versified genius, so she can have a good time partying it up she dresses as she would look the next morning. It’s free spirited and when you’ve brushed your teeth with JD you’re no longer pandering to ‘societys’ rules about hygiene and its obsession with outward appearance – you now have more time to focus on the important things like boys blowing up your technical goods, getting pedicures, working on your swagger and finding boys who look like Mick Jagger. She saw Derek Zoolander in the Derelict range and went nah fuck that, lets get really garbage chic!

Photo by Eva Blue

To truly appreciate and understand the Kesha we need to listen to her. Really.

She is more than just a visual carnival. She is a pop star using spoken word style rap over dance beats. Kesha can play guitar, piano and write music but currently auto-tune and ad lib rap is her weapon of choice. As her career develops I for one would love to see some harp and banjo thrown in there.

We are who we are

Hot and dangerous
If you’re one of us, then roll with us (Kesha loves to build her own structures and talks here about how metal Rolling is classified according to the temperature of the metal rolled, when the temperature of the metal is above its recrystallization temperature it is termed ‘Hot rolling’ – she likes to do this in a group, but everyone should wear gloves and safety googles)
‘Cause we make the hipsters fall in love
When we’ve got our hotpants on enough
And yes, of course we does (Kesha wants to bring to the public’s attention the plight of the ‘Never-Nude’, a debilitating syndrome which affected fictional arrested development character Tobias Fünke, a series which was tragically canceled too soon. Also the girl just loves hotpants. As much as the beautiful and irreplaceable Judy Frary)
We’re running this town just like a club (Kesha compares the mishandled football club negotiations between West Ham and Martin O’Neill to her hometown of LA’s ongoing financial crisis and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa inability to lease parking spaces)
And no, you don’t wanna mess with us
Got Jesus on my necklace (Kesha reminds the world that despite Palestine being unable to register the birthplace of Jesus as a heritage site on the list of the world’s most important cultural places because Palestine is not currently a unified state recognised by the UN, a way to represent love for the popular saviour can always be found.)

Got that glitter on my eyes (Ke$ha does not have dollar signs in her eyes, she doesn’t care about money – what you’re looking at is glitter)
Stockings ripped all up the side  (Big K is highly aware of the impact the recession is having on the global textile industry – as mass production slows the demand for higher quality goods increase)
Looking sick and sexy-fied (if you’re a little under the weather a little of what you fancy can go a long way. The Kesh says keep it safe!)
So let’s go-oh-oh, let’s go!

Tonight we’re going har-har-har-har-har-hard
Just like the world is our-our-our-our-our-ours
We’re tearin’ it apar-par-par-par-par-part (practice, practice, practice – nothing is as important as proper diction. It can change LIVES)
You know we’re superstars
We are who we are (Kesha keeps it real)

We’re dancing like we’re dumb-dumb-du-du-du-dumb
Our bodies go numb-numb-nu-nu-nu-numb
We’ll be forever young-young-y-y-y-young (referring to the recent study of how temprature affects the mating dance of butterflies, yeah its tenuous I know but she says numb so that’s the cold weather)
You know we’re superstars
We are who we are!

DJ turn it up
It’s about damn time to live it up
I’m so sick of being so serious
It’s making my brain delirious (this is actually positive advice for the rising number of teens suffering extreme anxiety disorder – too much serious behaviour can cause you illness. However it may just be that she enjoys the work of Yo Gabba Gabba)

I’m just talkin’ truth
I’m telling you ’bout the shit we do
We’re sellin’ our clothes, sleepin’ in cars (sellin’ our clothes is a reference to the rise of the e-nation, E-bay. While sleepin’ in cars picks up on the phenomenon of middle class homelessness caused by the recession)
Dressin’ it down, hittin’ on dudes, hard (Kesha rejects the model of status dating and says – just be yourself and ask them out even though it’s hard)

Continue ad-infinitum

Kesha says – “It’s a celebration of youth and life and going out and getting crazy. I’m about non-pretentious irreverence and fuck off good fun”

That’s right critics – fuckity bye, off you fuck, have some fun.

Advent-ures in winter land

Hello all,

happy thanksgiving, pilgrim! John Wayne here, at the first thanksgiving.

Ah, that kills. So I had the idea to do an advent goodie thing here with fine videos and tunes and what not and already I’ve slightly ballsed it up. Like this –

I was defeated by time. AGAIN PHYSICS, YOU WIN AGAIN, but know this, I WILL BEAT YOU YET YOU BLAG-GARD SCOUNDREL. Yes I wasn’t paying attention and now it’s almost June or something. I should stop saying ‘like’ in between every third word, honest to god I can’t stop. Like.

Now because of my blundering you will receive three winter season presents all at once!

First up –

El Dog‘s rendition of Sammy Cahn’s Let it Snow, very beautiful.

Next if you’re completely sick of snow –

Prince, it’s always time for Prince, never goes out of style, like Campari and soda. ‘Let’s Go Crazy/Take Me With You’

And now planning ahead –

Ella Fitzgerald’s ‘What are you doing New Year’s Eve?’ its so good I want to sink into it like satin sheets. I always imagine I’m in Mad Men listening to it.

Also – Scottish events and culture magazine The List is also doing an advent calendar of stuff.

Well Hella Children, that’s all for now. More goodies to follow to get you through the cold nights.

Happy winter.