Thursday, 31 December 2009

New Year's Eve

Thursday, 31 December 2009

If you're still undecided on what to do on New Year's, and house parties are not your's some suggestions:

At the Borderline, an indie gig venue in the heart of Soho, London's longest-running indie club night, the Christmas Club, present their New Year's Eve bash. DJ Tom Smith spins tunes by The Stone Roses, The White Stripes, The Verve, The Charlatans, MGMT, Primal Scream & many more....Entry is £7, or £6 with a flyer.

New York
Husband & wife indie pop duo Dean & Britta play an early show at Brooklyn's Southpaw venue. Tickets are US$20 via ticketweb.

Afterward, if you're low on cash, a good option is seeing the anti-folk acts perform at New York's SideWalk Cafe (intersection of Ave. A & E. 6th street). Cost is US$0 with 2 drink minimum. The year I went anti-folk hero Lach served free champagne at midnight. If money is not an object, from $250, you can go see Courtney Love at New York's Boom Boom Room. Seriously.

Edinburgh pulls out all the stops for New Year's Eve with their Hogmanay celebration. The street party's main act is Coventry's The Enemy and a DJ set will be provided by Mylo. Many festivities are already going on for Hogmanay, so if you're in Scotland, check it out.

Indie gig venue, The Annandale Hotel, is having a New Year's night of Celebrity Zombies. I'm not too sure what this all entails, but it sounds like fun....and someone named Miss Death will be dressing up as a zombie Amy Winehouse. Tickets are AUS$20.

Happy New Year!! And see you in 2010!

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Top Albums of 2009

Tuesday, 29 December 2009
I'm back! Hope that all of you who celebrate Christmas had a nice one and that all of you are enjoying these lazy days until the New Year.

This list was really hard to compile, and I'll probably change my mind about it within minutes after posting. It seems like every music blog and magazine has complied the Best Albums of the Year (and/or Decade) so not to be left-out (plus I feel that some albums deserve more credit), here is my short, but sweet Top Albums of 2009.

01. Manic Street Preachers - Journal for Plague Lovers

Why? Journal for Plague Lovers is on top of the list due to the fact it was the only album this year that I got ridiculously excited about and listened to all the time for weeks. As a testament to the Manics' departed-friend and former bandmate, Richey Edwards, every song on the album features his lyrics. Some of them are (intentionally?) amusing and of course, sometimes cryptic. Journal for Plague Lovers still isn't as brilliant as the Manics' 1994 masterpiece, The Holy Bible, but it is arguably their best album in the past decade.

Download (the giveaway bonus track):
Manic Street Preachers - Bag Lady.mp3

02. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!

I first heard this album in nearly its entirely while browsing through Glasgow's Avalanche Records in April. The track that grabbed me the most was "Heads Will Roll". I wasn't a fan of the YYY's previous albums, but considering I am a fan of synth-pop, it's no shock that "It's Blitz!" made quite an impression. The stand-out tracks include the singles "Zero", "Heads Will Roll" and the lovely ballad, "Hysteric".

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Heads Will Roll (A-Trak Remix).mp3

03. The Horrors - Primary Colours

Back in May I saw the Horrors support the Kills at Webster Hall in New York City. Their transformation into a, some might say, one-trick pony goth band into a credible, talented act, complimenting their sound with elements of shoegaze, was amazing. They had Primary Colours for sale at the gig before it's official release date, so I grabbed a copy and listened to it constantly for days after. My favourite track on the album is still "Scarlet Fields", although none of them are less than great.

04. The Black Ryder - Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride

After supporting acts such as Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Charlatans, The Raveonettes and Brian Jonestown Massacre, Sydney's The Black Ryder released their debut album, Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride. The album is a swirl of melodic, haunting vocals and airy, heavenly melodies. The harmonica featured on album's track, "Sweet Come Down", is provided by Peter Hayes of BRMC and the downloadable track below, "Let it Go", is also a free download on and features Ricky from Brian Jonestown Massacre.

The Black Ryder - Let it Go.mp3

05. The Big Pink - A Brief History of Love

I was first was introduced to the Big Pink's music by my partner back in April, months before their debut album's release. Their demos featured on myspace were amazing (well, for demos!) and I anticipated the album's release all through their recording sessions at Electric Ladyland Studios in New York. Finally in September, A Brief History of Love was released. A solid favourite that never gets old is "Velvet", a track that deserves more credit than their "mainstream" 2009 hit, "Dominos" (even though that is a great song as well). "At War with the Sun" is another brilliant track, as is "Crystal Visions" and "Too Young to Love". Also, love the album's artwork.

The Big Pink - Velvet (Gang Gang Dance Remix).mp3

Other mentionable, brilliant albums of 2009:
The Raveonettes - In & Out of Control
Gliss - Devotion Implosion
Amazing Baby - Rewild
Girls - Album
Fever Ray - Fever Ray
The Prodigy - Invaders Must Die
Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career
The Pains of Being Pure At Heart - The Pains of Being Pure At Heart
Super Furry Animals - Dark Days/Light Years
Logan Lynn - From Pillar to Post
Factory Kids - Factory Kids
The xx - The xx

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Happy Christmas!

Thursday, 24 December 2009
Taking a short break from blogging for Christmas.....until then, here are a few of my favourite Christmas videos!

Eartha Kitt - Santa Baby (the original from 1952)

The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl - The Fairytale of New York

Saint Etienne & Tim Burgess - I was Born on Christmas Day (performed on "The Word")

Super Furry Animals - The Gift That Keeps Giving

Happy Christmas! x

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

The Holidays with...Poppy & The Jezebels

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Wrapping of this year's holiday questionnaire feature, here is Poppy from one of England's most exciting new bands, Poppy & The Jezebels.

Which holiday do you participate in, Christmas, Chanukah, other?

What are your plans for the holidays?
Dom is off travelling in India, the lucky devil! For the rest of us, it'll be the traditional Xmas at home, and all off to the pub on Christmas eve!

What was the best holiday present you ever received?
When I was about 3 I got an amazing plastic toy drum-kit with a huge cartoon hawk on the front of the bass drum. I didn't know I'd end up being a drummer in a band at the time, of course, but I do think that that particular gift helped me on my way!

The best Christmas song is:
WE come from the home of Christmas glam-rock hits! Slade and Wizard are both from The Midlands! We are so proud!

What is on top of your wishlist?
This year I've asked for lots of make-up from Illamasqua... white eyeliner, gold paint... The kind of stuff that'll be great for gigging in!

Share a fond holiday memory from your childhood:
Waking up at ridiculous o'clock in the morning to begin the grand opening of the presents!... Christmas on Sesame Street video... Using the same slightly bedraggled paper decorations on the tree that I made at school countless years ago...

The perfect holiday party consists of:
Mince pies, cashew nuts, a somewhat inappropriate party dress (look away, nan!), and gin. Lots of gin.

At midnight on 1 January 2010, I/we will be...
Looking forward to an insane year. We've got an album to record, a tour to complete, and a decade to smash!

Thanks, Poppy! x

Poppy & The Jezebels' myspace
Watch: Poppy & The Jezebels' video for "Rhuburb and Custard"

The Flaming Lips' "Christmas on Mars"

It might be too late to buy The Flaming Lips' psychedelic space trip, "Christmas on Mars" on DVD by the 25th, but for instant viewing, it's available on iTunes for $9.99 from the Christmas on Mars' Official Site.

The Flaming Lips - Christmas At the Zoo.mp3

The Flaming Lips' Official Site

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

The Holidays with...This Car Up

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Paul from the former great indie band, This Car Up, shares his holiday memories and more...

Which holiday do you participate in, Christmas, Chanukah, other?
Christmas, and as I get older it becomes more stressful, but I still enjoy it.

What are your plans for the holidays?
Going home to Northern VA to hang with my family, my twin and his wife's twin boys. First Christmas being an uncle! Should be a good one. I also will get together with some long time friends and get our fix of Mexican food.

What was the best holiday present you ever received?
An electric guitar when I was 14.

The best Christmas song is:
There are some ones that I like more so than others. I like "O Holy Night".

What is on top of your wishlist?
Nothing really. Well, I take that back. Healthy little nephews.

Share a fond holiday memory from your childhood:
I later found out, but our grandfather came by our house when we young and while we were in bed, he threw rocks on the roof. We thought it was Santa.

The perfect holiday party consists of:
Booze and breakfast.

At midnight on 1 January 2010, I/we will be...
In Boston somewhere at a house party.

Thanks, Paul! x

This Car Up's myspace

Monday, 21 December 2009

Ringo Deathstarr: New Single "You Don't Listen"

Monday, 21 December 2009

Photo: Jess Williamson

Ringo Deathstarr have released a brand new 7" single, "You Don't Listen", nearly 4 minutes of where pop and shoegaze clash, making it one of the band's best tracks to date. This is the first single from their upcoming LP due in 2010. The single's b-side, "Everytime I Leave You", has drums reminiscent of The Jesus & Mary Chains' "Just Like Honey" accompanied by by fuzz guitar riffs, melodic bells and beautiful melancholy lyrics which create a heavenly masterpiece. You can download it below...

Ringo Deathstarr - Everytime I Leave You.mp3

Buy the 7" single at Custom Made Music.

Ringo Deathstarr's Official Site
Ringo Deathstarr's myspace

The Holidays with...Tim Chaplin

British singer/songwriter Tim Chaplin answered some questions for the holiday feature....this is what he had to say.

Which holiday do you participate in, Christmas, Chanukah, other?

What are your plans for the holidays?
Work, mostly

What was the best holiday present you ever received?
A little photo book

The best Christmas song is:
'Father Christmas Still' by Factory Kids... or maybe 'Teenage Christmas' by the Jacobites (electric or acoustic - take yer pick)

What is on top of your wishlist?
A fairy

Share a fond holiday memory from your childhood:
I'm still in the middle of it

The perfect holiday party consists of:
No other people

At midnight on 1 January 2010, I/we will be...
A lickle bit drunk

Cheers, Tim! x

Tim's latest solo albums The September Sessions and For Real in the Real World are now available on iTunes.

Tim Chaplin's myspace

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Gifts for Music Lovers

Saturday, 19 December 2009
It's less than a week until Christmas, and you still can't figure out what to get for the fussy music lover in your life? Here are a few hopefully helpful tips....

For the synth-lover: Stylophone

Called the "retro pocket synth", not only can it emulate synth-like sounds and fit in your messenger bag, but it's also affordable. Buy it at Think Geek for $19.99. I also saw stacks of them at Fopp Record Shops in the UK for £15.

For the Psychedelic Pop fan: Singapore Sling's latest album

Friends with BJM headmaster, Anton Newcombe (Fjordson), Iceland natives Singpore Sling's previously hard-to-find latest album, Perversity, Deception and Death is finally available on for the not too scary price of $22. If you still can't decide if the album is the perfect gift or not, check out one of the tracks (and my personal favourite on the album), the icy "Godman":

For the Indie Rock lover: Indie Rock Colouring Book

Be a grown-up kid with colouring the likes of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Rilo Kiley and Bloc Party. I asked for this for Christmas, but have heard since then that while it's a nice idea, it's only consists of a few pages. Still, if you fancy this, Buy it for $9.95 at

With a little more dosh, and if they live in America, get them a 2-year subscription to The Big Takeover magazine for $20. You can ask them to rush the subscription in time for Christmas.

For the Manic Street Preachers fan: Jenny Saville Art Book

One item I would recommend for a Manics fan is a book of paintings by Jenny Saville, who is responsible for the artwork of 1994's The Holy Bible and 2009's Journal for Plague Lovers. I own this book and think it's brilliant, so even though the $31.50 price tag might be a bit high, it is definitely worth the money. Buy it from

Cheaper items include Patrick Jones's new CD (Nicky Wire's brother) which features Nicky Wire, James Dean Bradfield, Billy Bragg, et al. for £5 or Gustav Klimt Stickers for $1.50 at amazon. One of my friends gave some to Nicky Wire and he used one for a a recent Manics letter. Bless.

and for those Super Furry Animals fans: The Psychedelic Guide to Monsterism Island

This new CD compilation by Pete Fowler (who is responsible for the majority of SFA's album artwork) features Gruff Rhys and is full of "musical treats that make perfect sense". Buy this for a tenner and find much more of Pete's works at his shop.

For the Goth (and/or Mighty Boosh fan): Goth Juice

Vince Noir made "Goth Juice" a popular name in hair-care products, and Lush delivers the product itself. Apparently it makes your hair sleek and gives a nice hold. Buy here or at Lush stores for $15.65 or
£6.85 at the UK shops.

Hope that helps .....good luck!

& Happy Holidays. x

The Holidays with...28 Degrees Taurus

Continuing the Girls Sold Out holidays feature (the first was with Logan Lynn), here are Jinsen and Karina from the brilliant Boston-based 28 Degrees Taurus with their holiday plans..

Which holiday do you participate in, Christmas, Chanukah, other?
Jinsen: Only Christmas... not in a religious way, but to just see family, exchange presents and what not.
Karina: Christmas.

What are your plans for the holidays?
J: No plans this year, just going to my parents' house for Christmas... My other relatives aren't around this year so its going to be quieter than usual. Other than that, looking forward to seeing some friends that are coming back to the area too.
K: Spending it with my grandparents. They are 87 and 88. Should be fun!!

What was the best holiday present you ever received?
J: $300 in cash
K: Talking Cabbage Patch Kid. 1989?

The best Christmas song is:
J: "Frosty the Snowman" by the Cocteau Twins
K: "Oh Holy Night"

What is on top of your wishlist?
J: A mu tron 2 phasor, an alesis microverb 4 and a mixing board.
K: 1950's Formica kitchen table.

Share a fond holiday memory from your childhood:
J: First Christmas I can remember, I got the train set I always wanted... the start of a pretty idyllic childhood.
K: Ripping open presents with my brother Sunny.

The perfect holiday party consists of:
J: A party in Andover with lots of ham, appetizers, lots of booze and old friends to go around.
K: Pigs in a blanket, MUSIC!

At midnight on 1 January 2010, we will be...
J: Drunk as usual like every other night of my life. Not sure what we're doing this year at all... I'm open to suggestions.
K: Dancing.

Thanks Jinsen and Karina! x

28 Degree Taurus' myspace

Friday, 18 December 2009

Amsterdam xxx

Friday, 18 December 2009
Sorry for the lack of posts, but I was busy stomping around Amsterdam, one of my favourite cities in the world. I lived there as a teen and hadn't been back in 10 years. Music and/or artsy posts will resume tomorrow, but here are a few of my favourite photos of a currently frigid cold, but lovely Amsterdam:

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Series Two Records Christmas compliation - out now!

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

George Square, Glasgow

Nebraska-based indie label, Series Two Records, released a new Christmas compilation this month. Only 120 copies have been made, so get one while you can. To order, send US$8 to The price covers all shipping & handling charges, even internationally.

The CD consists of 26 tracks, with over 75 minutes of music.

The tracklisting:
1. And, Oh So Slowly He Turned - Baby Jesus
2. Back In Judy's Shack - Footsteps In The Snow
3. Before I Got Convenient - all the good things
4. Betsy and a Ukulele- I thought I'd write you a Christmas song
5. Broken Down Lorry - All I Want For Christmas Is A Bit Of Peace And Quiet
6. Cleemann - Santa Claus lives (in Nebraska)
7. Flannel - AKARI
8. Joe Holtaway - wintering
9. Johan Cederberg - December
10. Later - an old excuse
11. Like This Parade-The night is peaceful all around you
12. Malkovic - 1st Snow Night
13. Old Time Radio - Do You Remember
14. Ossian Ekenger - Christmas in July
15. Paper City - Paris In The Wintertime
16. Petter Findin Himself - xmas song for my darling
17. Seaside Stars - Santa soon
18. Sebastian Schmidt - Als ich ein Kind war
19. Sunny Intervals - Winding Down For Christmas
20. The Blue Chairs - It’s Christmas
21. The Legendary Ten Seconds - Sitting in this trench
22. The Mother Z's - Christmas Card
23. The Nithings - now it truly feels like Christmas
24. THE YELLOW MELODIES - Christmas time
25. Thehelpmeplease - Hear The Bells Ring
26. Wool Strings featuring Table Music Meeting- White and Blue

Series Two Records' myspace

Monday, 14 December 2009

New Young Pony Club's new single!

Monday, 14 December 2009

Back in 2007, I visited London's Tate Modern and saw an exhibition where each piece of art was accompanied by a song from a new band. This is how I discovered New Young Pony Club, and after the exhibition went straight to the Virgin Megastore on Oxford Street (R.I.P.) to buy their debut album, Fantastic Playroom.

Over the past year or so, I thought that maybe they had fallen victims to the short-lived "nu-rave" scene that seems to ignite and then fade out like a glo-stick, but I was wrong.

Today, and today only, you can download their new moodier, Siouxsie-esque new single, "Lost A Girl" at their official site.

& here is the video:

They will also be headlining a UK tour in the new year and their 2nd album, "The Optimist" will be released in the UK on 1 March 2010.

New Young Pony Club's myspace

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Blondie's Free Christmas Single

Sunday, 13 December 2009

It seems like more and more bands are releasing free Christmas tracks every year. This year's new offering is by one of the greatest bands to come out of 1970's New York, Blondie.

Go to to download their Christmas song, "We Three Kings". Also, Blondie has announced they will be releasing a new album in 2010! It doesn't look like they are retiring anytime soon.

Here is Debbie Harry performing John Lennon's "Happy Xmas (War is Over)" with The Middlechurch East Village Choir at Santo's Party House in NYC last year:

Blondie's myspace

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Ms. Shirley Manson

Saturday, 12 December 2009
For the second week in a row, I'm spending the weekend in Edinburgh. Music-wise, the first time I was introduced to Edinburgh was when I started listening to Garbage and noticed their fierce lead vocalist, Edinburgh-born Shirley Manson.

I was so into her, that I made my own version of her skirt during this MTV Beach House performance in 1996 (still think it is amusing they played in such a setting) and paid US$40 (which was worth more back then) to see Garbage live, supporting Alanis Morrisette (who I was NOT a fan of, just to clarify!). Lately, I have been listening to Garbage's debut album and it is still as good as it was back in 1995.

Also, recently Shirley Manson has been back in the spotlight, modeling for Oliver Peoples with Elijah Wood.

Here are a couple of my favourite (and kind of rare) Garbage tracks:

Garbage, #1 Crush (Goth Mix).mp3
Garbage, Lick The Pavement.mp3

And some of the best videos:
Garbage, Stupid Girl
Garbage, Push It
Garbage, Androgyny

Garbage's Official Site

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Dean & Britta's Single Giveaway

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Photo: Michael Lavine

The dreamy pop duo of Dean Wareham (ex-Galaxie 500 & Luna) & Britta Phillips (ex- Luna), aka Dean & Britta, are giving away two holiday songs, "He's Coming Home" (originally written by The Wailers, from the Pacific Northwest) and "Old Toy Trains", which is a collaboration with their friend Pete Kember, aka Sonic Boom (ex-Spacemen 3).

Download the tracks for free here. The code is "oldtoytrains".

...and while you're at it, you can buy some brand new Naomi Yang-designed t-shirts, copies of their Andy Warhol Screen Test DVD and other swag at Dean & Britta's online shop.

Dean & Britta perform at Southpaw in Brooklyn on New Year's Eve. Tickets available here.

Dean & Britta's myspace
Sonic Boom's myspace

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

The Holidays with...Logan Lynn

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

photo: Ray Gordon

From now until Christmas, Girls Sold Out is asking some favourite artists all about the holidays. First up, is the wonderful and talented Mr. Logan Lynn...

Which holiday do you participate in, Christmas, Chanukah, etc?
I participate in any holiday that involves me getting fed and being given
presents. My family celebrates a very loose Christmas-type-celebration
but it's more about peace and love and caloric intake than the baby Jesus.

What are your plans for the holidays?
I'm going to be in Portland so I'll be spending much of it with my
extended Dandy Warhols family, which starts this Saturday and continues
for the next few weeks. Those guys don't fuck around when it comes to
having fun on holidays. They are doing these "Italian Christmas" shows in
Portland and Seattle this weekend and then there's a big holiday party
with all the bands on the label next week. Gonna be so fun. On Christmas
Day itself I'll be with my Mom, Dad, Brother, pregnant Sister-in-law and 2
year old Niece. I love holiday time with both families, biological and

What was the best holiday present you ever received?
Casio SK-1 keyboard, age 8. The day electronic music entered my life.

The best Christmas song is:
The one kept to oneself. I fucking hate holiday music.

Have you finished your holiday shopping?
Yeah. Everybody either gets my new record or a high-five. Their choice.

Share a fond holiday memory from your childhood:
I have many fond memories of waking-up Christmas morning while visiting my
grandparents' house around this time of year when I was a boy. My grandma
always wanted to get us exactly what we wanted (instead of giving us what
grandparents her age might have thought we wanted) so she would always
have my mom give her a list of what to get. I recall the BEST presents on
my list coming from those mornings with them. She made this salty chex
mix stuff that I would never eat now, but used to inhale by the handful
back then. There was so much love and color in that house. It was an
amazing place.

The perfect holiday party consists of:
Someone not drinking with me amidst the crowd of drunks, periodically
making eye contact from across the room to remind me that we are there
together and that we'll be leaving the sea of drunk party-goers together
soon. That sounds perfect to me at this stage in the game. I'd like a
virgin egg nog, please...but one made without raw eggs. SICK!

Logan's album From Pillar to Post is now out on Beat The World Records.

Logan Lynn's Official Site
Logan Lynn's myspace

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

The Big Pink's "Sweet Dreams"

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

They might be over-rated. They might also be considered the biggest "scenesters" to come out of England this year. Despite this, I have a fondness for The Big Pink. Besides being a great live act, I've found their debut album, A Brief History of Love to be one of my top albums this fall, if not for the year.

Recently, during a BBC Live Lounge session, they covered Beyonce's "Sweet Dreams". Turning this pop hit into a dark, moody, alt. tune.....I really like it. Hope you do as well.

The Big Pink - Sweet Dreams.mp3

The Big Pink's myspace
The Big Pink's Official Website
Video: The Big Pink's "Velvet"

Friday, 4 December 2009

Christmas mixtape!

Friday, 4 December 2009

Columbus Circle, NYC

Christmas is approaching fast, so here are some of my favourite tunes of the season...Something to listen to while you have your holiday parties, go shopping, bake sweets and the million other things you do at this time of year...

Side A
The Dandy Warhols - Little Drummer Boy download
Billy Childish & The Musicians of the British Empire - Santa Claus download
The Raveonettes - Christmas Song download
The Sonics - Don't Believe in Christmas download
Saint Etienne - My Christmas Prayer download
The Fall - Jingle Bell Rock download
Run DMC - Christmas in Hollis download
The Management - Come On Christmas download

Side B
Band Aid - Do They Know it's Christmas?* download
Elastica - All For Gloria download
Jacobites - Teenage Christmas download
Sparks - Thank God It's Not Christmas download
Wham! - Last Christmas download
The Ramones - Merry Christmas download
Factory Kids - Father Christmas Still download
Tom Waits - Silent Night download

* the original 1984 version. all the others are rubbish!

Also, the winner of the Christmas swag competition is Lisa from Germany!! She'll be recieving a parcel full of Christmas sweets, CDs and other things soon...

Happy Christmas! x

Thursday, 3 December 2009

The Upsidedown

Thursday, 3 December 2009

One of my favourite bands is Portland, Oregon's The Upsidedown. With Sarah Jane, formerly of The Out Crowd (Matt Hollywood's previous band) as well as ex-Bella Low member Jsun Atom, and musicians Brett Kron, Matt Moore, Tristan Evans and Bob Graham Mild, they quickly gained a reputation for themselves across the American Northwest, achieving critical acclaim. Their album, Human Destination, has been a staple on my stereo this year...From the Strokes-esque intro to the title track to the 60s-influenced stomping beats of "Silver Wind" to the flowing grooves of "Light", this album is recommended for anybody who's into a bit of psychedelic pop.

Check out their videos for "Silver Wind"

& "Human Destintation"

On 12 December, The Upsidedown are playing a Christmas show at Portland's Wonderland Ballroom with their mates, The Dandy Warhols.

You can buy their album from Beat The World Records...and even get a new Dell computer to match, thanks to The Upsidedown's cover artist Robert Hardgrave featured as an designer for Dell's new studio ready laptops!

The Upsidedown's Official Site
The Upsidedown's myspace

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Interview: Highspire

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Here's my recent interview with Alex and EJ from shoegaze/dreampop band, Highspire who are also in the Melbourne-formed, but currently New York-based psychedelic pop band, The Morning After Girls.

Where did you get the name Highspire?

Alex: I had a crush on this girl and went to pick her up for a date at this place called Highspire Road. The date was a bust, but the name stuck in my head as having some meaning and unique quality. There's also a town in central Pennsylvania called Highspire, but that's not the inspiration.

You formed in 1999 and stopped playing live in 2003. It says on your myspace not to ask, but...why did you stop playing live?

EJ: A combination of moving away from Philadelphia after being robbed of all my equipment and not being able to get the band to sound the way I envisioned live. Really just a combination of many small things that added up to one big headache.

Alex: On top of that we had problems with bandmates who really didn't understand our music or care enough. They were always trying to steer things away from our vision.

You guys are currently playing in The Morning After Girls and are also set to release new material with Highspire. Is it difficult to divide up your time between the two bands?

Alex: No. I'm usually too focused on The Morning After Girls to spend much time on anything else. Although there's always that rare moment during rehearsal when the others have left the room and E.J. will play the bassline to "Portsmouth" or "No Day Like Today" and I will have a sing through it.

We're tracking and mixing everything at my home studio so it's not too difficult now that I don't have a day job. I wake up at 8 or 9 a.m. every morning and work most of the day on music. So when I'm not on tour, away for practice or recording Morning After Girls demos, I'm working on Highspire or some other projects.

Your songs, particularly "Fade In A Day", "Until the Lights Go Down" and "Portsmouth" are quite ambient and have a retro-feel to them. I think your music is quite unique compared to most contemporary shoegaze/dreampop acts. Where do you get your influences from?

Alex: I'd say The Stone Roses first and foremost, followed by Verve, The Charlatans, Bowery Electric, Blur, and Radiohead. And I would also add Ride, The Doves, Catherine Wheel, Slowdive, The Gorillaz, The Dandy Warhols, and Portishead to that list. I don't think there's anything unusual about our influences, but it's our mixing of different elements that makes the songs eclectic.

EJ: All the same bands Alex mentioned and My Bloody Valentine, Chapterhouse, early Boo Radleys, Adorable, Spacemen 3. I have a ridiculous late 80s, early 90s vinyl collection of British music. I'm a big supporter of the more underground shoegaze bands of the past 20 years. I've been the webguy for Clairecords for five years. So I've kept pretty current with the scene via tonevendor. I've been a supporter and friend of Malory, Airiel, Ulrich, Air Formation, Oliver Ackermann's bands, Resplandor for years. Martin and Sacha of The Morning After Girls have a different approach than I'm used to, as I'm more a music first guy and they're much more vocal first so they've been an influence lately. Though ultimately I think I'm more influenced these days with messing about in my studio as I don't really listen to anything too much so not to be too influenced.

Who were the coolest bands to play with back when you were touring?

Alex: The Warlocks, Aesobi Seksu, Dirty on Purpose. Although we were probably the most fun to play with out of anyone because something strange would always happen at our gigs. Club owners seemed to like to blame us if some underage kid was in the show or if someone vandalized the toilet. One time we were ejected from Canada as a band because of suspicion of illegal substances, but I stress that was untrue.

EJ: Malory live are usually just straight up amazing. Like make you want to quit playing music amazing. Skywave was always fun. Loudest band outside of My Bloody Valentine and possibly Dinosaur Jr. I've ever seen. Except Skywave would just rock like one halfstack each for guitar and bass. Modified to be crazy loud of course. Emerald Down was a great, underrated shoegaze band as well.

What are your current favourite albums?

EJ: I listen to the same stuff I was listening to 10 to 15 years ago mostly. Or stuff I'm doing. Some newer bands that I've liked what I've heard are 93 Million Miles from the Sun, Ringo Deathstarr, Fleeting Joys, LSD and the Search for God. I listen to a lot of obscure 60s and 70s psych bands. According to my iTunes the last five artists I listened to are Sweet Jesus, The Dylans, The High, Suncharms, and Pale Saints.

Alex: I don't listen to a lot of new music. So my current albums in rotation are classics like Sticky Fingers, Exile on Main Street, and Let it Bleed from the Stones, Electric Warrior by T-Rex, and newer classics like People Move On by Bernard Butler and Lost Souls by The Doves. That said, I like 2 by Darker My Love and the new Doves record.

I read that Highspire has gone through 15 band members. Is that true? Is anyone joining you two on the upcoming EP release, or are you making it all your own?

Alex: No. Pure hyperbole. Perhaps including studio musicians it could be true. But I can only count 10 actual members of the band including me and E.J. We have a drummer participating in the new Highspire material. But that's it so far.

I sort of consider our first band together, which was called Intro to India, as early Highspire. We didn't really know exactly what we were doing, but we were part of the "Psychedelphia" scene of the late 90's. But towards the end, the music was essentially the blueprint of what Highspire would be. Actually, The Morning After Girls is technically the fifth band Alex and I have been in together. I can't get rid of the guy.

Do you think they'll be any Highspire gigs down the road?

EJ: No. Unless it's just for kicks, semi- acoustically. I'd love to as a full band as I think I can now make it sonically possible with the right people the way I'd want it to be. But logistically it'd be tough to practice a band up and travel to do anything at this point.

Alex: We talk about doing a Highspire tour, and I for one would be very keen to do it, but we would want it to be well thought out and executed with the right people backing us on stage and money and time probably will not allow that.

What's been the most exciting moment in the band's now 10 year history?

Alex: The moment I realised that all the shit things that happened to us in 2002 made us stronger musically and spiritually. Among other things, our whole band quit on us, then E.J. lost his prized Rickenbacker in the burglary he mentioned earlier. It would've been easy to pack it in and just say it was far too much trouble to continue, but we didn't. We made an album about it instead.

EJ: It makes me feel good whenever someone comes up or writes that they appreciate what we do. Since we've never gone out of our way to do anything but make music we want to hear, it's exciting when others also enjoy what we've done. It's almost a form of communication, a secret handshake if you will.

Is there anything (previously unknown) about your band that you'd like to share with the world?

Alex: We are truly humbled and appreciative when someone likes what we do.

Where can people buy Highsphire's previous albums as well as the new EP and upcoming re-released EP?

EJ: The EP's will be released on our own label on iTunes or via download through myspace/website. I'd like to make a fairly limited amount of CDs and eventually a vinyl release. Let's face it, most people are gonna download it free off internet blog sites. Unfortunately money ends up mattering for small bands to keep going and recording, at least recouping. Which is part of the reason why we haven't released anything in a while. That's why I'd like a vinyl release at some point. If a majority of people are like me and they like what they downloaded and it comes out on vinyl, they'll get the vinyl. I'm seeing the future of music formats as digital and vinyl at this point. At any rate, we don't do this for profit or anything other than it's just what we do. If other people enjoy it, that's icing. That's a brilliant feeling.

Alex: Also you can get the physical CD of "Your Everything" at or iTunes. There's also a cover of "Dagger" by Slowdive on iTunes and that we're rather proud of.

Thanks, guys! x

Highspire's myspace
The Morning After Girls' myspace

Watch Highspire's "Believe" live

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Paper Planes and She's Hit at Captain's Rest

Saturday, 28 November 2009
Last night I went out to see two of the best bands Glasgow at the moment, Paper Planes and She's Hit.

She's Hit played to a large crowd at least 3x bigger than when I saw them support the Crocodiles at Stereo just last month. Obviously the word about them is spreading fast. Last night was my friends' first introduction to them and they walked away from the set completely loving it. One of my friends commented that she loved the drummer's style of standing up while playing. For me, it was reminiscent of Bobby Gillespie during his time with the Jesus & Mary Chain, which I like. About mid-way through the set they did their brilliant cover of "I Was A Teenage Werewolf", and played until there was blood splattered all over the floor (literally. a fight broke out towards the back of the venue. it wasn't pretty).

At the end of the night I got a free copy of their "Standing Stone Demos"...Here's one of the tracks:

She's Hit - Black Transistor Nightmares.mp3

She's Hit's myspace
Girls' Sold Out interview with She's Hit

The headliners, Paper Planes, were nothing less than fantastic. I quickly found out that the lead singer is flatmates with one of my classmates...small world! It was the first time I saw them live and was very impressed with how tight their set was. Their live version of tracks such as "Restless" and their debut single "Doris Day" were even better than the recorded versions, which stand as top tracks on their own. Among the group of people that I attended the gig with, I heard comparisons to Sonic Youth and Modern Lovers...not bad at all...

They're supporting New York's sweethearts, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart this Thursday, 3 December at Stereo in Glasgow. Try to check them if you can..

Paper Planes' myspace

Thursday, 26 November 2009


Thursday, 26 November 2009

Although I live in the UK, I'm an American by nationality and therefore today I'm celebrating Thanksgiving (or "Cheersgiving", as it's the name of the party I'm attending tonight). Besides stuffing our faces and watching (American) football, some people actually do think about what they're thankful for! This is my list, regarding music & art:

♥ The fact that the Manic Street Preachers finally released an album with lyrics left from their departed friend and bandmate Richey Edwards. Journal for Plague Lovers is not only arguably their best album since 1994's The Holy Bible, but they managed to pull it off with class and as a testiment of love toward both missing and celebrating their old friend.

♥ That I got to see The Big Pink perform at the tiny venue of King Tut's Wah Wah Hut just at the moment they became a "well-known" band (at least within the UK indie community)

♥ In 2009 there can be pop stars like Lady Gaga, who are so pretentious and over-the-top being "arty", that it goes full circle into becoming absolutely ricdulous (see the "Bad Romance" video for an example). To clarify, I do like some Lady Gaga tunes...and I'd probably like her more if she wasn't everywhere....I also think that if Andy Warhol was alive today, he'd love her.

♥ 2004 Turner Prize winner Jeremy Deller and film-maker Nicholas Abrahams will begin screening their new Depeche Mode documentary, The Posters Came From The Walls, on December 1st in selected UK cities. I especially find this clip from the documentary really fascinating in terms of band fandom...and it's pretty cute!

♥ That I'm able to express creativity in my band Factory Kids and that we just got an album review in US magazine, The Big Takeover!

♥ The NME this week (with Florence + The Machine on the cover) includes an interview with Jason Pierce of Spiritualized (I'm a huge fan) and also a great review for the new album by The Brothers Movement, a Dublin-based band that's worked harder than most and definitely deserves recognition.

There's much more I'm thankful for today....but I'll leave it with that...

Happy Thanksgiving! x

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

New Brian Jonestown Massacre material

Wednesday, 25 November 2009
2010 will be a great year, if only for a day, as New Year's Day marks a new album from the mind of Anton Newcombe Fjordson. The Brian Jonestown Massacre's latest will be entitled Who Killed Sgt. Pepper? You can already listen to a stream of the album in full on their site.

and straight from Anton's myspace bulletins today, here is the video for "Detka!Detka!Detka!"

Just a reminder: the Christmas swag competition is closing in a couple days...If you haven't entered yet, you can do so here. Good luck!

Brian Jonestown Massacre's myspace

Monday, 23 November 2009

Saint Etienne's "Spring" (Air France Remix)

Monday, 23 November 2009

Currently I've been loving Air France's remix of Saint Etienne's "Spring". You can watch the video over at Sincerely Yours...If the scenes in the video look familiar, that's because they're taken from the 1973 film The Wicker Man, starring Britt Ekland.

Saint Etienne - Spring (Air France Remix).mp3

Saint Etienne's Official Site
Saint Etienne's myspace

Saturday, 21 November 2009

An Taobh Tuathail Vol III

Saturday, 21 November 2009

I'm proud to say that my band Factory Kids (singer/songwriter Tim Chaplin is the other half of FK) as well as bands such as Animal Collective, Peter & The Wolf and The Caretaker, among others, are featured on a compilation album compiled by superstar DJ Cian O Ciobhain. It's the third compliation he's put together so far. You can currently get a hold of the CD in selected Dublin indie shops, with other outlets in Ireland to follow. Alternatively, just pop over to the Psychonavigation Records site and order direct. We're told the album will get a full UK release next February. Oh, and it's entitled 'An Taobh Tuathail Vol III', and the Factory Kids' track is a Luminous remix of 'Look After Everyone'. The original version of which was included on the Factory Kids' debut album, out earlier this year.

Factory Kids - She Said.mp3

An Taobh Tuathail on myspace

Friday, 20 November 2009

A few minutes with French Wives

Friday, 20 November 2009

Here's my recent interview with Stuart Dougan from Glasgow indie band, French Wives...

How did French Wives come about?
Scott and I were in a band that split up after one day, so the two of us decided to start a new band. Chris, Jonny and Siobhan were recruited over a number of months via friends of friends.

Where did you get your band name?
A friend was going to name their band French Wives, but opted out of it, and we needed a name for out first gig at short notice so we used it and it stuck. It's also the name of an erotic movie. Fact.

Where do you rehearse?
A- Side Studios ... not nearly frequently enough.

What was your best gig so far? why?
I'd say our single launch as everyone sang all our songs or possibly our Loopallu Festival appearance as there was about 1,000 people there.

And the worst gig? why?
Underground in Dundee as we drove from Glasgow only to find out the gig had been canceled.

When you guys hang out what music do you listen to?
It really depends on whos iPod we have and who's car we are in. Chris only listens to "Bitte Orca" by Dirty Projectors and I only listen to "Yeah So" by Slow Club.

Where did you get the title for your song "Give Him America"?
It's a lyric in the song. It's about lots of things, none of which are Barack Obama.

You recently had a signing for your double A-side single "Halloween/Dogfight" at Avalanche Records in Glasgow. I heard the singles sold out, but more will be released? When will they be available? And where can people find them?
Yeah, the first batch that we got through all sold out within a couple of days. It's back in stock now in Avalanche in Glasgow and should be available in other independent record shops throughout Scotland by the end of the week. It can also be downloaded from iTunes etc.

Do you have any weird phobias and/or band superstitions?
Nah, not really. If anyone makes any mistakes during a gig they get cut up by Scott's imaginary knife. That's not even a joke.

What's your band's fashion sense/style? Any favourite clothing shops?
We were once described as 'style over substance' so I'll say that (we're not by the way). My friend Greg has a clothes shop called We Love To Boogie which is dead good.

Describe your fanbase in 3 words:
Sparse but nice.

What's better - downloading, still buying CDs, or collecting vinyl?
CD shopping is dead good, but for convenience and cost effectiveness I'd say downloading.

Best band you've seen live?
Arcade Fire, Sigur Ros or The Boss probably.

Is there anything (previously unknown) about your band that you'd like to share with the world?
Chris Barclay's middle name is Akabusi.

What are your plans for 2010?
Not too sure yet. Planning on going down south in March, I believe. Then hopefully lots of gigs and meeting nice people. Looking forward to everyone finishing Uni so we can spend more time on this music lark.

Thanks Stuart! x

French Wives' myspace
We Love to Boogie vintage clothing

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Video: Bob Dylan's "Must Be Santa"

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Here's the video for Bob Dylan's new track "Must Be Santa", from his new album, Christmas In The Heart. This is the first video Bob's appeared in for over 10 years, and the video itself is completely mad (love Bob's new long "indie" hairstyle ;)). It's hard to watch this and think it's the same man that caused a near riot at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, completely turning the music world upsidedown with "Like A Rolling Stone', but this video is very charming in its own way. Plus, a part of the song's proceeds go to charity. So just have fun with it. :)

Enjoy! x

Bob Dylan's Official Site

Adam Green on tour with The Cribs

Adam Green, half of the anti-folk group The Moldy Peaches and former German Rolling Stone coverboy, is set to support UK band The Cribs' on their North American tour this January, as posted:

13 Jan 2010 Lincoln Hall, Chicago IL
14 Jan 2010 The Magic Bag, Ferndale MI
15 Jan 2010 Phoenix Concert Theatre, Toronto ONT
16 Jan 2010 The Fillmore at Irving Plaza, NYC
17 Jan 2010 Paradise Rock Club, Boston MA
19 Jan 2010 9:30 Club , Washington DC
20 Jan 2010 The Earl, Atlanta GA
22 Jan 2010 Granada Theatre, Dallas TX
23 Jan 2010 The Parish Room, Austin TX

Then he'll be jetting off to Europe for a long list of dates....Tour info is available on his website.

For more Adam, visit is his amusing blog ("blogge"), the Lake Room which features everything from full-frontal nudity to paper mache scluptures....and here's Adam being interviewed and performing "Getting Led" on the UK programme, The Culture Show:

Adam Green's myspace

Monday, 16 November 2009

The Black Hollies

Monday, 16 November 2009

This morning while on a cross-country train, I re-discovered my love for The Black Hollies. A modern band hailing from Jersey City, NJ but sounding like they come out of swinging 60s London. The Black Hollies are a band for anyone who's a fan of classic 60s Garage like The Sonics or The Seeds...or even the British Invasion. They definitely sound like they come out of another time and place.

I first heard about them from two Aussie friends who went to see them in New York last year and praised their live show. Despite the fact that I lived in NY at the time I had never heard them, which was a shame, because as soon as I heard the first few lines of "Gloomy Monday Morning", I realized I had been missing out on something great.

Check out their video for "Paisley Pattern Ground", which could've been filmed near Brian Jones' house back in 1968 if you didn't know any better...

The Black Hollies' are currently touring the US, so check them out if you can...Full tour details on their myspace

Listen to their album "Crimson Reflections" in full on
Listen to their album, "Softly Towards The Light" in full on

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Win Christmas Swag from Girls Sold Out

Thursday, 12 November 2009

I was going to do this for Halloween, but considering the blog was only a couple weeks old and only had two readers (and thank you both for reading ;)) there was little to no point. Now that the Christmas season is here and the blog has more readers, here is the first Girls Sold Out Gift Giveaway!! After all, Christmas is all about giving to others, right?

So, I'm putting together a pack of treats and sweets for one lucky person....

The Christmas pack includes:
- A Girls Sold Out mix CD which includes tracks from new and upcoming artists as well as some classic tunes.
- An issue of the Factory Kids' 'zine, Sugar Landslide.
- A random selection of UK chocolate/sweets.
- A couple other surprises! You just have to wait and see....

Just email your name and address to before 27 November, and in December I'll announce the winner.

Stay tuned to this blog for a free downloadable Christmas mixtape...For now enjoy the weekend with the remixes below!

Good luck, and see you next week! xo

The Charlatans - Nine Acre Dust (Chemical Brothers Remix).mp3
Florence + The Machine - You've Got The Love (xx Remix).mp3
Manic Street Preachers - This Joke Sport Severed (Patrick Wolf Remix).mp3
Primal Scream - Some Velvet Morning (Extended Version).mp3

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Pretty Green Launch Party

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Richard Ashcroft and Liam Gallagher

On Saturday, 7 November, Liam Gallagher hosted the official launch party of his clothing line, Pretty Green, in London. Guests included The Prodigy, Richard Ashcroft, Kasabian, Heidi Range (from Sugababes), TV presenter Dave Berry, and of course Liam's wife, Nicole Appleton.

Keith Flint (The Prodigy) and Liam


Keith Flint and Maxim (The Prodigy)

More images at the source:

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

'Pop Life' : Now at Tate Modern

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Until 17 January 2010, Tate Modern is showing "Pop Life", 17 rooms and a cafe filled with works by Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Takashi Murakami, Jeff Koons, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Martin Kippenberger, Richard Price, Maurizio Cattela, Andrea Fraser, Pruitt Early, Piotr UklaƄski, Reena Spaulings, and the Young British Artists (including Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst, who also has his own room within the exhibit).

On 7 December, Tate Curator Catherine Wood will be giving a talk about the exhibit and on 8 December, Tracey Emin will be at Tate Modern talking about 'The Shop'. A former London surgery where her and her friend Sarah Lucas made and sold their art in 1993.

Being a fan of half these artists, this all sounds like a Pop Art lovers' dream. The £12.50 price tag for admission is quite a bit (considering most of Tate Modern is free), but for those not a strict budget, I find it'd be definitely be worth the trip.

Also, if you're like me and follow the Turner Prize, 2009's nominated artists are currently on display at Tate Britain.

I think it's a wonderful time to visit London.

Andy Warhol

Keith Haring

Takashi Murakami

Tate Modern's website
Tate Britain's website

Monday, 9 November 2009

Beth Jeans Houghton

Monday, 9 November 2009

While flipping through one of the UK's random free music 'zines, a photo of this girl caught my eye. Her look had the rock'n'roll excess of Nancy Spungen, the vintage glamour of Twiggy and the modern-day aloofness of Peaches Geldof - all at the same time. Such a interesting combination of images, I couldn't help but rush to my laptop to check out her music. It was nothing like I expected.....with vocals reminiscent of Bat for Lashes, and music that ranged from old American folk to church organs like you'd hear during a Sunday service. Beth Jeans Houghton is a rare artist, drawing in ideas from all over the place (she lists her influences from Bob Dylan to Frank Zappa to Ani DiFranco to M.I.A.). She's a unique breed that I hope stays around for a long time.....

Check out her video for "I Will Return":

Beth Jeans Houghton's myspace
Beth Jean Houghton's Official Site
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