Rox my world

A Mark Ronson favourite (she performed 'Valerie' with him opening his tour, so impressed, Mark invited her back for a H&M gig) and yet another ex Brit School student (I can't imagine some of the egos inhabiting that place right now what with the track record of success stories), Rox is a lady I've been myspace stalking for a while now. I love the jazz infused popness of it, and the girls got a impressive pair of lungs to put the cherry on a soulful cake.
A couple off weeks back she put all new music up on her profile, I'm guessing she got dumped, as that seems to be the suject matter, hence the new stuff is alot more angst-y, (obviously shes expressing her pain through music which is nothing less than I'de expect from a good artist),
But sadly at the moment she hasn't got the songs up that made me fall in love with her in the first place, like 'Shoot Me Down', 'Frida Earings' and another stella song that I can't remember the name of for the life of me. Not that the new stuff isn't great, I just wish she kept the other stuff on too, because I'm greedy and I want it all.
I love the bitter-sweetness of 'My Baby Left Me' and the other two are really great heartbreak songs, recently added 'Leftover Love' uses the beat from Peter Bjorn & John's 'Young Folks' and I'm glad for another upbeat tune to get ready for a night of dancing to, along with 'My Baby Left Me'. I just wish her tunes and my ipod could meet, it's always a shame when you can't listen to a really good artist without logging onto the internet. We'll just have to wait for an EP to be available on iTunes, but untill that day comes, Myspace it is.




Something old, something new

Ah, the cleverness of Girl Talk. Gregg Gillis uses at least 12 samples from exsisting songs to create something new and completely awesome, I love the playfulness of the remixes but be warned any deep thinking Radioheads, (or anyone who complains that this doesn't count as real music) these tunes are meant to be taken with a fistful of salt. His album Night Ripper is stella, and for his new album you can pay whatever you want. So you don't really have an excuse for not getting a piece of the action. We're meant to listen to Feed the animals from start to finish, which I haven't got round to yet, but just like the days of loyally reading my girl talk magazines cover to cover, (remember the posters of donkeys and kittens instead of actual human beings?) I'll be sure to give Feed the animals the same treatment. I would name my favourite tracks but it's so hard! You'll listen to them like "oh this is my favourite.. oh wait no. Eee I love this bit! Oh fuck it it's all awesome." which hey, can't be a bad thing. I'm also patiently waiting for a Girl Talk gig (oh please come to uk, it's lovely here), because they're known to get pretty crazy, with Gregg removing items of clothes throughout the set. Lovely.


Maybe this time

I liked Simian. Regardless of the criticism that they where too bland, only had a couple of good songs and where way to heavily influenced by The Beatles. I personally don't dislike any of their songs, and don't really feel that they're that bland, but I can understand where the critics are coming from. I don't really get why I like them though, regardless of their Beatles-esque sound, because the new Panic! at the Disco direction grates on me for being so canny, I don't know why I don't feel the same for Simian, but I've loved them since the Peugeot 1007 advert so maybe there's some sentimentality to listening to their music, or I don't know. It's just one of those things.
When they split, I was sad but excited to be left with Simian Mobile Disco because I thought "Simian but more dancy? Yaaay!" I didn't get quite what I was expecting, there wasn't the structure or catchy-ness of Simian, and I was hoping for Simon Lord's vocals too. So whilst I've felt resentment towards Simian Mobile Disco (they're good really though, it's only two members from Simian, Shaw and Ford plus they sometimes work with Lord so all is forgiven) The Black Ghosts pop up to give me what I was originally expecting. Lord is hi-fiveing with DJ Touche from The Wiseguys, and the partnership is sounding pretty good. Both being heavily influenced by the supernatural, and yes, ghosts - the music is an extension of their ghoulish childhoods (mainly poltergeists and being made to watch Hammer Horror films) and the disturbing lyrics and haunting rhythms swim amongst a very listenable, but dark collection of pop songs, which I am well into.

My standout tracks are:
- I want Nothing
- Anyway you choose to give it
- Repetition Kills you
- I Don't know
- Something New (lyrics reference Lords frustration with breaking though with his music methinks?)
- Face (with lyrics like 'don't slow down' and 'you got to face the music' suggests maybe the song represents Lord's motivation music wise.)

Go to their myspace and give it a listen. The album is out on the 7th, and I really think that this time Simon Lord will get the commercial recognition he originally wanted with Simian. I can't wait to hear it in a club, the catchy danceyness will hit the spot summut terrible when I'm merry and dancing my face off plus I think in light of all the successful dance acts around (i.e. Justice, Daft Punk etc..) this Electric duo has the album with the ability to reach out to many-a-ipod, including mine.



I've fully recovered now from spending six (yes six, I arrived on the Wednesday, early bird gets the worms and all that, plus I didn't want to miss a second) days of dancing and wading through a truly stinky existence together with the great unwashed. Being a Glastonbury virgin, but still deeply madly and truely in love with festivals, I was well up for it this year considering I've been meaning to go for so long, (last year I spent a fearful half hour on the phone, but it then sold out).
I was so taken aback by it's awsomeness, my landlady said to visit the less commercial area (or 'Babylon' as she calls it) and to opt for Trash city, Healing fields etc.. and I'm so glad I did, the sheer creativity of the people who set up the stalls and attractions is phenomenal, I can see why some people don't bother with the bands, but I still think you need a balance. Sadly, (and kinda stupidly I'll admit) I thought it would be ok to go with a loved-up couple, but I was well and truely a Glastonbury goosebury (or Glasbury, as I have now defined) and I really did feel so lonely for allot of it, mainly because there where people I wanted to meet up with, but my phone lost battery, so that's what was really the downer for me, I mean I loved the guys I went with, they're great mates but I couldn't help feeling like I was cramping their style.
Thankfully on the last day I met up with a girl who was willing to drag the partying out until the early hours of the morning with me, romance free, (well there was an old man who was dancing by me at about five in the morning, completely naked, but I don't think he had romantic intentions, just a fuck load of shrooms.)
anyway onto the bands:
Friday morning Kate 'I've-got-a-London-accent-which-is-really-marketable-right-now' Nash was there to aurally irritate me whist I was freshening up in my tent (the downside to camping by pyramid is that you get to hear the likes of James Blunt and the Feeling, whether you want to or not) I drunkenly shuffled down to catch the Subways, I was well impressed, I should listen to them more often me thinks, then over to Vampire weekend, I was very drunk by this point, but still Vampire don't do it for me, am I the only one who finds them a little bland? I might change my mind about it, but considering the hooge crowd, they don't rock my world. When I caught Ebony Bones they where playing to a depressingly sparse crowd, turns out the night show was allot more popular. I was only really in the Fratellis so I could make my way to the front for KOL, I wasn't the only one with that attitude either, but they played a good gig. KOL was so fun, I had an awesome view but something seemed a bit off, they didn't quite put on a 'show'. I attempted Winehouse but the crowd was so big I literally had to stand by the bar to watch, which also has it's benefits I'm sure you'll agree. But then Jay-Z came on, who quite simply, nailed it. He opened with wonderwall after a video of Noel Gallagers criticism and various politicians spliced up for the context of the debate, and then hit us with 99 Bitches followed by samples featuring Winehouse, ACDC and other strokes of genius. I was totally captivated, and it truly was one of those "I was there" moments, which is what festivals are all about.
The next day the loneliness was getting a bit much and I spent allot of it wandering round the healing fields, trying not to cry and trying to find a friend who was working in the Thai massage tent, I couldn't find him so I made my way over to a gig. That morning I gobbled down some hash cakes that I bought from a girl who was so sweet I wish I could buy her instead of cookies and they didn't kick in until Goldfrapp started playing. I saw Goldfrapp in Cardiff years ago and for some reason I didn't expect them to be hugely better at a festival, but they where awesome, the spectacle that Alison directed was fantastic and perfect for folks as stoned as I. It cheered me right up, and I also found out that a girl wanted to share my tent with me, because her friends where leaving early so the future was looking bright for ol' Esther (and not fucking Orange, who didn't have a compatible charger for my prehistoric phone in their little tent thing).
later we went over to Groove Armada who where the one band at the top of my list, and they completely let me down, something fucked up in their sound check so they where really late, and the crowd just didn't get as into it as you would think. The only time they really got us going was super stylin', which was the last song, followed but a fumbling encore of well, super stylin' because that was the only song that we where properly into. I saw Groove in Cardiff a couple of years ago, it was one of the best gigs I've ever been to and I thought it would be even better now because they where headling a huge fuckoff festival, and festival gigs are nearly always a thousand times better than normal gigs, but not this time. Boo Groove Armada. You used to be cool.
So that was the general overview of my Glastonbury experience, I'll upload my photos once they're developed. But honestly it's the best place I've ever been to in my life and although it wasn't all fun for me due to some poorly judged decisions (like not charging my goddamn phone before going) I know what I need to do for next time and I'm going to go every year from now on, and if for some reason I miss it, it will be a very dark year for Esther.


She's back.

I always preferred her to 80's Madonna, she had better hair. And now Cyndi is back, with a new studio album, 'Bring Ya to the Brink' which is released on May 27th in the states, don't know about the official release for us Europeans, but thanks to the internet, we have our ways of getting a piece of the action.
Listening to the songs on her myspace, it's sounding pretty good, I can't wait to hear the remixes, I think the hooks are strong enough to translate well into some fabulous collaborations. Speaking of fabulous collaborations, Lauper is said to have worked with Basement Jaxx, Digital Dog, Dragonette, Kleerup and more, giving the New Wave pop queen a dance pedigree.
The U.S. single 'Into the Night Life' (produced by Peer Astrom, who's worked with Madonna and Britney), sounds like a definite club hit, and considering the download-only release of 'Same Ol Story' got to number one of the first day, 'Into the Night Life' is likely to follow in the success. The song is very Madonna-esque but the good Madonna, when she's being all dancy and working with shit hot producers, not being predictable and contrived like when she's roping in Timberland and Timberlake for 'four minutes' of hell (is it me or does she make four minutes seem like a lifetime?)
Sadly I don't think Lauper will be donning her quite frankly, awesome look from the 80's (I think she's like 55 now, so maybe shaving half your head off wont be the classiest of moves) but it'll be interesting to see if she can make a successful comeback.


Florence, the machine, and me.

I was thinking the other day about my friends who look like famous folk. Not that I socialise exclusively with celebrity impressionists or anything but there are a couple of people I know who do emulate certain TV personalities, musicians etc. It's quite exciting when one of my friends is like "oh I saw this film and the girl in it looks JUST like Nicola!" then we all go investigate said film and argue whether Nicola might possibly be a film star without telling us.
That sort of thing has never happened to me before, but coincidently, when I met up for drinks with my friends Chris and Nicola (the secret movie star), Nicola turned to me and said "Oh there's this band called Florence and the Machine and you look JUST like the lead singer!" so off I go looking for my long lost twin Florence, and on the way I find a cutie female singer-songwriter. I'll begrudgingly upload a recent picture of me and my house mate Andy, very drunk, in a coffee shop for the sake of comparison, because it would be a bit daft to go on about Florence looking like me without a picture.

I can see the resemblance more now, but at first I thought it was simply the hair. I'm glad for such a complement though, because Flo is lovely.
As to be expected, the music is cute and pretty-pretty too. Florence has such a beautiful voice, it's a shame that our similarities are only skin-deep. Some of the myspace stuff reminds me of the dodgey early recordings of Kate Nash, except a hundred times better because seriously, Kate Nash, before all the hot-shit producers came to her rescue, sounded shit, like really shit.
If a label could be arsed to sign our dear friend Flo here, I think she'd do really well, because there's no denying the market for this acoustic/indie/prettypretty songstress, or is there?
To be honest, I do like listening to Feist, Regina Spector and Laura Marling-types every now and then because the sound is so sweet to the ear, but there are so many, do we have too much of a good thing?
It's like when your a kid and you have a cute cuddly bear, and it's so soft and comforting you want another, and another, and another, and before you know your looking round your room as a teenager and thinking "why the fuck did I accumulate so many sodding teddy bears?!"
But then again, some people never grow out of teddy bears, and they spend allot of time and money trying to convince people that the army of beady eyes in their bedroom is actually a collection, an investment.
So I think there will always be people who'll love this music, maybe I'll be one of them, and we'll never get over the cuteness, and in terms of cuteness; buttons ain't got shit on Florence and the Machine.