About The Cold Cut...

The musings of a teenage audiophile. Indie, Rock, Hip-Hop, Rap, Dance, Dubstep, Garage, Metal... music crosses all boundaries. The Cold Cut is devoted to giving you a taste of what's going on in music at the moment.

About Me

A 17 year old taking his first tentative steps into the world of blogging. In my first year, its been up and down, from the slow first months to a busy time around the one year anniversary.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Is Is: A noticeable pattern in their titles, but not in their music...

The new Yeah Yeah Yeahs EP 'Is Is' dropped a couple of days ago, and whilst not being particularly interesting to talk about I think the band deserve some recognition for their consistent efforts. A brief intro (one shouldn't be required, but unfortunately, it is). Yeah Yeah Yeahs are a three piece indie band from New York, and have recorded 2 feature length albums and 3 EP's since then as well as being Grammy nominated. The Is Is, released on the 24th July, is quite an interesting release as the style is very different to their latest album Show Your Bones. Despite being a three piece they make a hell of a lot of noise; whilst there is no bassist, guitarist Nick Zinner and drummer Brian Chase compensate for this by turning up the distortion a bit, and for Zinner at least, by lacing different styles into his playing (try playing lead and rhythm guitar at the same time!). And I needn't explain Karen O, the frontwoman, who is probably the coolest woman in music at the moment, donning a bowl haircut and some eccentric clothing (see her dragon outfit at Reading last year) and still remaining stylish.

From what I've heard, 'Is Is' is (sorry!) the sound of a band who are nearing the peak of their musicial career: if the band can afford to use songs as good as these five on EP's then we can be confident in their songwriting skills and that album #3 will be brilliant. The thing which is most noteworthy about this EP is the grungy/angsty style which has been missing on their albums; I'm not saying its better than their normal sound but they definitely pull it off. For this, kudos to the band, and I hope you all enjoy their music... The following tracks can be downloaded from this project

Yeah Yeah Yeahs- Isis
Yeah Yeah Yeahs- Down Boy
Yeah Yeah Yeahs- 10x10
Yeah Yeah Yeahs- Maps (see video on Youtube as well)
Yeah Yeah Yeahs- Gold Lion
Yeah Yeah Yeahs- Cheated Hearts

A selection of their CD's and Ep's can be bought here


Unfortunately, being a mere human means that I have to take a break sometime in the year- I'm on holiday at the moment but will be back to full time blogging on Monday, so bear with me. Thanks for reading, and see you soon...

Radiohead's 7th studio album finished

About two months ago a little sound snippet arrived on Radiohead's website: a whirlwind 2 minutes long, this casually released recording was actually short sections of the songs that would make up their seventh studio album. Since that time I have been anxiously awaiting the release of said album- provisionally titled "7", which should occur during the next couple of months.In fact, scratch that, I’ve been waiting for any sort of material whatsoever to make its way onto the airwaves from this hugely talented band. Lets face it: Radiohead are a pretty special group of people, possessing some of the most talented- and weird- individuals in modern music. Ever since I saw them live three years ago I’ve been quietly intrigued by the band, and their frontman Thom Yorke, in particular.

If you look through any decent music magazines (read Q, NME, Word) top 100 albums list, I’m sure you will find Radiohead albums occupy many of the available spaces. Last year, Thom Yorke’s debut solo album, The Eraser, would probably also have been in those magazines favourite albums of the year, and quite correctly. The only problem is, I can’t really understand why I like their/his music: place Kid A and OK Computer into your CD player or computer one after the other and you would struggle to believe they are by the same band if you weren’t so culturally inclined (flattery of the readership!). Whilst they flit between styles of music on each album, Radiohead always produce atmospheric, interesting music; you would be hard pressed to think of a mediocre Radiohead album.

From the heavily electronica and Krautrock influenced Kid A to the piece de resistance that is OK Computer, Radiohead have been producing quality music since their breakthrough debut, Pablo Honey. At this point, you really have to ask yourself: why then are they rarely cited as influences? Furthermore, I don’t think their music is anywhere near as revered as it should be given their consistency… and yet for all those who don`t know of the band there are the hugely devoted superfans: my whole family has loved the band since I can remember, and because i grew up with thesmI have many memories attached to songs such as Karma Police, 2+2=5 (The Lukewarm) and Paranoid Android, which on recollection is the first song I ever learnt the words to. However, don’t forget Thom Yorke’s solo offerings; The Eraser gave a clear idea of his new artistic direction, and became known in our household as Kid B, a phrase my Dad coined, due to it similarity to the previous Radiohead offering. The Eraser received many accolades (Mercury Priwe nominated) last year and has some really memorable songs on it (see bottom of this post for downloads).

After a long musical drought, the band broke the silence early this year to say that work was underway on their new album, the follow up to 2003’s Hail To The Thief. News broke early this month that the album was now completed, and a snippet was released on the bands website containing short parts of a selection of new songs: see hype machine if you are interested. It certainly built up the anticipation, and this has been achieved once again with the release of a new song by Modeselektor (Yorke's favourite band) featuring Thom Yorke titled White Flash. This song amps up the anticipation for the new album, and if any of the as yet untitled release is as good as this song I for one will be happy. It will be interesting to see which sound they have adopted for album number 7: have Yorkes solo albums been an indication of zhat is to come or will they surprise us? We shall see, but given their previous track record, this will be an album to remember...

Just a few of their most memorable songs: they can all be downloaded from this project, or by clicking the links individually. You can buy Radiohead's albums here...

Modeselektor feat. Thom Yorke- White Flash
Radiohead- 2+2=5 (The Lukewarm)
Radiohead- Creep
Radiohead- Paranoid Android
Radiohead- Karma Police
Radiohead- Knives Out
Radiohead- Idioteque
Thom Yorke- Analyse

Quick Tip: Operator Please

Unfortunately, time constraints and a slow computer at work experience mean that I can't do a full length post today, but there's a lot of fresh, interesting music to cover so I thought I should at least write something short. My Quick Tip for today is an Australian 5-piece band called Operator Please, comprised entirely of members aging between 17 and 19, not something you generally see in popular bands nowadays. Lead singer/guitarist Amandah Wilkinson formed the band to compete in her high school's Battle Of The Bands competition: "I picked people at random who I knew played an instrument, and they just said yes." and so the band was formed. Their music is quite an eclectic mix, mostly because of the instruments their band members play: the current lineup has the usual suspects (guitar, bass, drums, voice) and two unique choices, keyboard and violin: check out the bit in the download below where you get a full-blown violin solo). Together, these 5 instruments and Amandah's powerful voice make an interesting sound when coupled with their songs, which are fun, if a little childish at times (you've got to forgive them for that: they're all under 20!).

The age aspect is pretty funny actually: 17 year old drummer Tim Commandeur looks so baby-faced that his presence is often questioned during their gigs, and he has even been mistaken for Amandah's son... but forget the age thing- this is a band who made it big purely by force of will, and at such a young age they have already been picked up by EMI and are set to play the Carling: Reading and Leeds festivals this summer, having received a lot of plays (on NME, XFM and Radio 1) of their hit single "Just A Song About Ping Pong". It's been a large shock to the band, just as you would expect: receiving a record deal with EMI whilst you're a teenager isn't something most people could brag about in their lifetime. Their debut album will be out sometime later this year, but whilst you're waiting I would recommend you take a look at some of their EP's and singles. A good place to start is over at the Hype Machine... You can also buy their EP's on their site

Kate Nash- Stepping out of Lily Allen's shadow

Update: The links have been re-posted- they should be up for another 2 weeks or so...

"The next Lily Allen"- those are the words that have been following newcomer Kate Nash around since her single Foundations smashed its way onto the charts, swallowing up the rule book and all the while proving that you don't have to have Umbrella beats to make it big. Well, why don't you take a longer look before forcing her to live in Lily's shadow? Where are the parallels in the music? Sure, she's also from London and is equally witty... but if you actually listen to her songs and compare them to Lily's you can see the similarities end there. Foundations oozes charm and wit, but not of the caustic kind (see Allen's 'Smile') and is clearly orchestrated by Nash herself: she's got the whole singer-songwriter thing going on and is competent at both piano and guitar, which are the main components of her songs, something which is mostly missing in Lily Allen's debut Alright, Still. Her real talent, though, lies in making songs accessible to ordinary people; Foundations tells the story of a couple who both hate the little things about each other:
  1. Boy hates girls stories- embarresses her in front of her friends
  2. Girl belittles boy's intelligence
  3. Boy calls girl 'bitch', but girl doesn't care
  4. Boy says girl's diet must be composed of lemons, because she is so bitter
  5. Girl says she prefers to hang out with his male friends because they are much fitter
  6. Boy gets wasted, throws up on girl's new trainers.
  7. Etc...
Indeed, taking a look at that I think the major comparison at this point would be to Regina Spektor, someone who on her songs so far Nash has magically managed to clip in the summery-poppy stakes and simplicity.

It's really weird to see someone given such a reference point so early on in their career, and its obviously something that Nash struggles with (it would piss me off to no end in interviews). She's brought the release of her first album forward by a couple of months to the 6th August, probably to distance herself from this requisite line (THE NEXT LILY ALLEN) which you will find in every one of her interviews since 'Foundations' came out. The song itself is an argument between (presumably) Kate and her ex?/boyfriend which has been dressed up into a great summer pop-song- only a sign of things to come. She's no one-trick pony, however: take a look at her first single Caroline's A Victim, a track that lies at the other end of the spectrum to the conversational pop that is Foundations. An intriguing mess of synths and Nash's spoken word, it was a gutsy move to release this as your debut single, and Kate has received huge amounts of flak for it. This was all forgotten once Foundations was released, but I have a weird feeling that her self-titled album will be split down the middle; one half full of Foundation-like pop songs and the other dancehall songs similar to Caroline Is A Victim.

Her debut is currently one of my most anticipated for 2007, not least for being produced by Paul Epworth- whose credits include Bloc Party, The Rakes and Maximo Park to name a few. The slightly weird thing about all her songs is that they sound like demos, something which you wouldn't expect when she's being produced by Epworth: however, this doesn't really detract from her sound. Whatever their plan is, the release of Caroline's A Victim was an interesting move to make, but I haven't heard to enough to judge how her album will pan out. To me, her best songs are the most basic ones like Foundations and The Nicest Thing where her sound is stripped down to the her voice and a piano/guitar backing. But take a look for yourself at the songs below, and I'm sure you will agree with me: Forget the constant Lily Allen comparisons: Kate Nash is set to be a star in her own right.

Kate Nash- Caroline's A Victim
Kate Nash- Foundations
Kate Nash- Birds
Kate Nash- Navy Taxi

A reluctant ode to Umbrella-ella-ella-eh-eh-eh....

As much as I hate to write this, I really, really like Rihanna's latest chart-topper Umbrella. It causes a burning sensation in my mouth every time I say it, but she has obviously found the winning beat, vocal and lyrical style that the world wants, which is the reason why its been sitting comfortably at the top of the UK charts for almost 10 weeks now. The accompanying album's no pushover either- the deliciously titled Good Girl's Gone Bad is at number 12 in its 6th week since release, which isn't bad considering Umbrella is only the first single.

"No clouds in my storms
Let it rain I hydroplane into fame (Eh eh)
Come'n down with the Dow Jones
When the clouds come we gone
We Rocafella (Eh eh)"

So how good is the song? Well, to my brother at least, it's "one of the best hip-hop songs I've heard in a while", and I would probably agree. Although the lyrics are absolutely ridiculous- see above- a lot of time has been devoted to the production of this song: having Jay-Z guest rap at the beginning is a very good way to start, and the video is pretty cool as well, what with her suggestive umbrella pokes and spark backdrop. Tie in the fact that Rihanna possesses a Barbados-tinged voice that records extremely well and a great beat, and you're on to a winner. Slightly off topic, I went on a run yesterday, and when at the 3 mile point I was literally dying, Umbrella revitalised me enough to make me complete another mile... must be good, hey?

Of course, when a song stays on top of the charts for that long, there are the numerous covers (some good, some horrible, mind) that appear in the ensuing weeks. I've been scouring the net for the best one and my pick is Scott Simons', which is available for download at the bottom of this post. Scott Simons was the songwriter for the indie band "The Argument" and has recorded an entirely different piano-driven version of Umbrella. It doesn't match up to the original in my opinion, but you can see for yourself. Enjoy...

Update: The original version is also below...

Rihanna (ft. Jay-Z)- Umbrella

Beth Ditto, please leave the building

Hopefully, the musically inclined members of the blogosphere will agree with me when I say I'm pretty fed up of reading about Beth Ditto and her daily schedule; NME is one of the main culprits, and its hard to go one wee without seeing a double page spread about her featuring a nude photo shoot (of course! The one above is from NME) within those pages. Not to say I don't like The Gossip- Standing In The Way Of Control is one of my favourite songs, but I think Beth and the band needs to stay out of the limelight for a while and set about writing a second album. And therein lies the main issue I have with Beth Ditto- I think its really great that she doesn't care what people think, and I agree with many of the things she says, but she should make sure she has the tunes to back her up before making outlandish statements and sets up spats with the rest of the music world.

Despite all this she's obviously found a winning formula in terms of her character: the tabloids love anything to do with her: lets be honest, what's not to love about a 15 stone lesbian woman with a voice like that? Ditto has got her own column in The Guardian called 'What would Beth Ditto Do?' and was ranked #1 in the NME Cool List last year. So with all that in order, she's obviously a very popular and iconic lady... the only thing is that this busy schedule doesn't really allow her and the two remaining members of the The Gossip time to write new material.

If the band can produce an album chock-full of songs of equal quality, then they should be on a winner. The problem with their latest album was that they had one standout track, and the rest were fairly average or sub-standard. If you haven't heard any of the album, there are two songs below: the title track Standing In The Way Of Control and another good single called Listen Up! You can download both tracks from , or by clicking the individual links below.

The Gossip- Standing In The Way Of Control
The Gossip- Listen Up!

Matthew Dear's 'Asa Breed'- Imitation is the greatest form of flattery

James Murphy has done extremely well out of his electro-pop hybrid style of music: chances are you won't know he is but his latest musical project LCD Soundsystem has produced two great albums which were both well received. On top of this he runs his own music label, Death From Above, and is constantly in demand as a DJ. Don't forget the fact that in 1992 he was asked to write the script for a small new show called Seinfeld, but turned it down, citing a busy schedule as his excuse. So.... you might call him multi-talented then, what with dabbling (successfully, mind) in different projects. Unfortunately, his mettle is about to be tested by Matthew Dear, the latest contender for the multi talented go-to guy crown. And the way in which Dear is challenging him? Well, you could say imitation.... Asa Breed, Dear's new album, is very similar to the latest LCD Soundsystem release, Sound Of Silver.

Matthew Dear is an Texas-born music producer from the same mold as Murphy, although so far he hasn't managed to emulate Murphy's success. Also the owner of a record label, Ghostly International, Dear has had many successful songs and remixes but has found it hard to translate the success across to a full album. I'm not lying when I say Matthew Dear is one of the most prolific artists I've ever come across, remixing and recording hundreds of tracks under different aliases (Matthew Dear, Audion, Jabberjaw and False) and surprising everyone by constantly flitting between styles and genres of music (check out his wikipedia page if you don't believe me). The last few years have been highly exciting for his followers, who have patiently watched him changing into a first class musician/producer- there were hints of this but his style quite defined yet, so this process was a metamorphosis if you like. With his latest album, Asa Breed, I can happily say that he has found his sound, although its still hard to identify what different elements it is made up of. And there you have the fundamental reason why his music is so interesting to listen to: across Asa Breed there is a varying pace, sound and style to every track, and Dear has obviously come to terms with the fact that his most successful music has been impossible to define: genre tags like hip-hop/electronica/garage/dance are commonplace with his music, and also means that in theory, some elements of each song should appeal to everyone.

This really is a fantastic third album, and in my opinion Dear has really come into his own. If he keeps up his producing and DJing he could be a serious threat to well-established people like Murphy. The only problem is that Dear has to learn when to stop slicing and dicing music, or he could end up alienating his main fan base: Asa Breed is good because it subtly puts together the best elements of many styles of music, although on some tracks there are points where he is close to the edge in terms of how much variety you can stuff into 3 minutes. After I've listened to the album a bit more I will probably do a review of it, probably later this week. There are a couple of tracks available for download below, you should know the drill by now.

Matthew Dear- Pom Pom

Matthew Dear- Deserters

Weird Album Cover?

Prince's Planet Earth for £1.40!

You have to wonder what was going through Prince's mind when he pushed for his new album "Planet Earth" to be included with every copy of the Daily Mail this sunday. The only possible answer is that he is delirious, or partially insane: this move has caused a massive uproar in the music industry as it has the potential to eat heavily into CD sales (which are already falling every day due to cheaper downloads) and cause more changes in the way music is sold. In theory, I like what Prince is doing, but when it comes down to the crunch he is actually making other people in the music industry worse off. On the other hand, it is important to bear in mind that Prince has given away CD's before- every concert-goer to his 2004 Musicology tour recieved the album of the same title.

It seems like the only reason he would do this is because he doesn't have anything to lose... the only problem is this whole fiasco seems to have backfired on him: Sony- the official distributor of the new album- have pulled out, stating there is no point selling Planet Earth when it is being sold with the Daily Mail for £1.40. As much as I love Prince's music, he obviously isn't the most logical person in the world; this move has reduced his potential sales and also caused the music industry to turn on him, when they have been supportive of him throughout his long career. HMV in particular haven't been afraid to show their anger, stating that this is an outrage. However, HMV are also under fire from their rivals because they are stocking the Daily Mail this weekend, stating "this is the only way we can market the album to customers". "We're stunned that HMV has decided to take what appears to be a complete U-turn on their stance," said Simon Douglas, managing director of retail at Virgin Megastores. "It's not only retailers that suffer; the public will suffer in the long term by restricting choice on the high street."

Perhaps Prince is trying to prove a point: the CD industry is a rapidly declining one. For every person stating that mp3's can't match up to the feeling of a real album with sleeve notes there is a young person who loves the lower cost and accesability of mp3's. I'm not sure how this weekend will pan out, but whatever the outcome Prince has made a bold move which may or may not be succesful in making his desired point.

The Reverend: Aptly named/Ego Trip? Delete where applicable

Sheffield is a very happening place in the music world at the moment: since the Arctic Monkeys broke the rules with their two albums about the ordinary life, it seems there have been plenty of Sheffield hopefuls trying to emulate their success with simplistic. It's a constantly changing scene, but one thing stays constant, and he goes by the name of The Reverend. A man who seems to be a positive catalyst for everyone who knows and works with, good things seem to happen around him. The only problem is he doesn't seem to be able to make it big himself, but all that's about ot change. Sometime over the next few weeks a very intriguing album will be making its way into music stores across the UK. The album is the first by Reverend And The Makers, a band who up until the last couple of months haven't recieved anywhere near the amount of press they should have: the brainchild of The Reverend aka John McClure. The band's name might not be familiar to you, but if I told you it was McClure's brother Chris on the front of the Arctic Monkeys "Whatever People Say I Am, That Is What I'm Not" you might make the connection.

Hailing from Sheffield just like the Arctic Monkeys, Reverend's first band Judan Suki had Alex Turner and Matt Helders (lead and drummer in the Arctic Monkeys- keep up please) as members, but of course they went on to form a band which has arguably been the most commercially succesful of the last 20 years or so. When the Arctic's first album was bought in huge volumes you can expect that The Reverend was feeling slightly left-behind... he was at the helm of Judan Suki but his counterparts had gone on to eclipse him. He was breifly famous after the Arctic's debut sold so much and they cited him as an 'inspiration' in the aftermath of the release. However, rather thank being famous for knowing someone, Reverend immediately set about creating an album that would make it clear that he wasn't just a stepping stone for the Arctic Monkeys. The State Of Things- Reverend And The Maker's first album-, release date uncertain, is expected to be released in September by Wall Of Sound, the band's label. First single Heavyweight Champion Of The World reached #8 in the charts when it was released, and you can download it at the bottom of this post.

Despite the similarities between the two bands, I doubt Reverend's first album will be anything like the Arctic Monkeys... from the two or three songs I've heard it would be more appropriate to compare their music to Oasis with a slight electronic element. Indeed, there are strong parallels between Reverend himself and Noel Gallgaher, both in the way he looks and sings: check out Youtube for some really cool videos of their live performances, in which McClure looks chilled, composed, and actually sings well, just as Alex Turner does. This is something seriously lacking in modern bands- there are thousands of people who record excellent studio albums but when they get on a stage they murder their own music as they can't perform live.

There are two tracks below, both of which I'm sure will make it onto the final cut of The State Of Things. Please buy the album when it comes it if you like what you hear. You can download both tracks from this project, or by clicking the links below

Reverend And The Makers- Heavyweight Champion Of The World
Reverend And The Makers- 18.30

Scouting For Girls? The latest undiscovered gem!

I don't want to take credit for the content of this post: upon recommendation from my friend Mike, I had a quick listen to Scouting For Girls... I was fairly surprised by what I heard, and felt compelled to write something brief about them. I can't quite understand why this band aren't already huge: they've been around since 2005, crafting numerous pop gems, three of which are available for download at the bottom of this post. Having just released their debut three track EP- It's Not About You- to commercial success (at it's highest point it was #31 in the charts), it seems a full length album is on the way: their catchy songs ensure that they stay in people's minds even after they've forgotten the bands name (which I think is prety damn cool: a play on words of Girl Scouts?). I- and Mike- would recommend you listen to the stand-out track on their EP, It's Not About You: I can't remember any other pop-rock song which uses harmonies so memorably. In fact, now that I think about it, this band is pretty memorable in general; they have a catchy name, some great tunes and a sound which appears to be fully mature, even when they haven't released an album yet. This full sound could be the band's selling point: there is no variety in terms of their song-quality: all three I have heard so far have been of the same calibre, whilst being different in both style and sound.

Unless something goes seriously wrong, I'm sure you will be hearing much more about this band over the next few years: given the fashion in which people bought their 10 minute long EP, a feature length album will no doubt sell well. You can download all the tracks from this project, or by clicking the links below individually. Let me use this opportunity to ask if anyone out there has been lucky enough to see this band live? Were they any good?

Scouting For Girls- It's Not About You
Scouting For Girls- Keep On Walking
Scouting For Girls- Mountains Of Navaho

Check out the band's myspace page for updates on tour dates and their latest releases...

Beatbox- If you watch only one thing today, make this it!

My friend showed me this damn cool video a couple of weeks back, and I don't this beatboxers efforts should go unnoticed. Imagine this: kitchen beatboxing... take a look!

2000 visits

It just occured to me that I was sailing past the 2000 visits mark; it was only a couple of weeks ago when I broke 1000. Again, I would just like to say thanks, and I hope this makes interesting reading... the only reason I keep doing these "X visits" posts is because I so badly want this blog to become big. If you like my writing and the music I post, please promote this blog by recommending it to your friends. I am also always happy to take comments and recommendations: good new music is hard to come by nowadays, so if you have any tips, please tell me.

Air Traffic- The future of highly infectious songwriting?

It has happened to all of us: you turn on the radio or MTV and that song is playing. Yes, that one: the one that has been the bane of your life for the last month, that song that penetrates your conscience due to the fact that it is radio-friendly and annoyingly memorable. Recent examples include Mika's Grace Kelly and Nickelback's How You Remind Me, but the latest one and the subject matter of this post is a band called Air Traffic. Their name might not be familiar to you, but you would have to be removed from society in order to not hear their hit single "Shooting Star", a song which at first seems blissfully innocent with its lovely piano and high vocals. After a while, though, it becomes unforgettable: I know the words to this song even though the only time I've heard it is through the wall separating me and my next-door neighbour at school!

Shooting Star: The Recorded Version

The thing is, Air Traffic are actually a really good band: they've just released debut album Fractured Life to generally positive reviews: initially comparisons were made between Air Traffic and the likes of Keane and Captain due to their music being piano driven... after listening to a few tracks, I can say this is definitely not the case. Whereas bands like Keane and Captain produce music that whilst being quaint isn't actually that good, Air Traffic produce songs like Shooting Star that are actually quite heavy, despite featuring piano. To top this off, most of the tracks on their album aren't half bad- this is probably due to the fact that the band are all in all very musically competent (see the comparative videos below of live and recorded performances of Shooting Star). Their singles- Just Abuse Me and Never Even Told Me Her Name- are two of the best piano driven pop-romp songs we've heard in a while: head over to hypem to hear them

I think it would be right for me to let you make up your own mind about this band: head over to the hype machine to hear some tracks; there are also two Youtube videos below. Please comment on your feelings about this band: I would like to know the readers of this blog think about my posts!

Shooting Star: The Live Version

You can buy their new album, Fractured Life, here

Apple to lower itunes album prices

In a move confirmed today by some of Apple's iTunes representatives, the Apple music store will see lower prices for albums across the board. After an announcement yesterday that Universal would not be continuing their partnership with Apple, there must have been some nervousness in the Apple headquarters. It seems the announcement that many albums' prices will be lowered to around 6 dollars could not have come at a better time.

Artists who will be selling cheaper albums include LCD Soundsystem, Peter, Bjorn and John and Hot Chip, and I'm certain we will see many more music labels signing up over the next few weeks. As an added bonus, some of the tracks are iTunes Plus, so there is no DRM. This- and the fact that the albums are cheaper than you would find them in a bargain bin- will only help to close iTunes hold on the internet music market. So if you're contemplating puchasing a new album over the next few weeks, check out iTunes before you head down to your overpriced local record store...

Daft Punk wont be giving up their crown any time soon

With the populatrity of dance acts such as Simian Mobile Disco and Justice, it might seem as if Daft Punk are beginning to lose their hold on their target market- they haven't released any new material since 2004. Under the alias of Daft Punk, Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo have created some seriously cool and smart electonica/dance music over the last two decades, which somehow penetrates your conscience whether you like it or not. As one of the most critically acclaimed dance acts ever (in terms of popularity and album sales) Daft Punk have produced two standout albums, Homework and Discovery, whilst their most recent material, Human After All, was really repetetive and didn't do well when it was released in September 2004. Don't let their latest album lead you into thinking the first two hit albums were produced by luck, however; these two guys aren't you're average Joe's... during their live performances they wear robot suits, and their faces have never been seen in clear view by the world (see images throughout the post of the robot suits and their anonymity). Their eccentricity really comes through in their live shows: during recent performances the band have performed in a giant pyramid (again, see pictures), not quite something I would call 'normal'....

The world-wide acclaim has caused the duo's songs to be remixed numerous times: most people in the world will have heard Kanye West's hit single Stonger by now, which samples Harder Better Faster Stronger, off of Discovery. Justice have also remixed songs, and they aren't afraid to show how much they owe to Daft Punk for pretty much inventing the French Dance Movement. Its very scary to look at how similar the two dance acts are: both are made up of two French citizens, and broke into the mainstream due to one song... Justice, though excellent, will be very lucky if they can emulate the success of Daft Punk. But before I start talking about them as if they are in the past, it is important to look at the prospects for the French Duo: due to constant remixes they are still very much in the limelight, and their live performances recently have recieved rave reviews: my brother was at the O2 festival this year and said that there performance was "the best thing he has ever seen" on a stage. With all that in mind, I doubt Daft Punk are just going to step aside and let up-and-coming bands such as Justice take over before their time is right.

I've included a few tracks below, which will hopefully give all of those who haven't heard of Daft Punk a chance to see what all the hype is about. Click the links individually to download the tracks, and be sure to buy some of Daft Punk's albums here...

Daft Punk- Harder Better Faster Stronger
Daft Punk- Technologic
Daft Punk- Digital Love

Editors new album sees them turning dark

As usual with albums, I'm fairly late on this, but I only just listened to my Dad's copy of the new Editors album, An End Has A Start, which sees them changing their sound and turning dark in a big way. If you can't be bothered to listen to the tunes, you only have to look at the titles of some of the songs, which are mostly pessimistic: An End Has A Start, The Weight Of The World and When Anger Shows to name a few. If you delve a little deeper and listen to the album a few times, you will notice that whilst being good, there is a noticeable tail-off in quality as it progresses. The first three tracks in particular are brilliant, and the improved musicianship of the band is most evident here as they summon up moody choruses with piano-twinged refrains. The album starts on a massive high with the epic first single (check out the video at the bottom of this post), and the first few songs show signs that the band have progressed in both sound and their songwriting skills. Tom Smith, vocalist, is the real driving force behind this initial greatness: his baritone has developed, and he shows signs of improved songwriting, as well as a new hairstyle.

However, it's not to be; after the first few good tracks there is a moment when they revert back to their old ways: messy lyrics and unmemorable songs. I think the main problem is that on this album the band is taking themselves way too seriously: I can't remember an album with as many songs about death, disease and terrorism as this one.

All the tracks are available for download at the following page, or you can download them separately by clicking the links below:

Editors- Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors
Editors- An End Has A Start
Editors- The Weight Of The World
Editors- Bones
Editors- The Racing Rats

Concert For Diana- a great way to remember a special woman...

I hope that many members of the blogosphere tuned in for the Concert For Diana last night, which was excellent, both in terms of its message and the huge amount of bands who turned out in a tribute to the Princess Of Wales. It's also really important to recognize the huge amount of effort put in by Princes Harry and William, who managed to sort out a diverse program which included music (of all sorts: rap, rock and hip-hop), ballet, comedy and drama. Its great that they have managed to pull it off successfully, and the whole night was spectacular, from the huge stage and venue to the great performances by all the acts involved.

The acts performing included Nelly Furtado, P. Diddy, Joss Stone, The Feeling and Rod Stewart: the stand-outs for me were Elton John (of course!), James Morrison (very impressive live), Lily Allen (she actually can sing!) and Kanye West. Kanye's seven minute set was like nothing I have ever seen; he blitzed through all of his best songs, paying tribute to Diana but not making it too cheesy. He also performed his great new single, Stronger, which only gets better when performed live. Wearing a tweed suit and some very weird sunglasses, West ran about the stage, breaking a sweat and putting 110% into his performance.

All in all, the Concert For Diana was highly worthwhile: Diana was and still is one of the most important popular icons of the last century, and its great that she can be remembered through performances by some of her favorite bands, such as Duran Duran.

Justice's D.A.N.C.E. music video- as good as the song!

It appears that Justice have the smarts to match their seemingly endless ability to remix tracks and make them sound much better than the original; their new video for D.A.N.C.E.-their hit single- uses a frustratingly simple idea to great effect. Before I reveal too much, just watch the embedded video below, which features some cool t-shirts which I wish were real!


Well, I have been struggling to find a band worthy of writing about recently, after becoming completely immersed in the new Interpol album. But before I start talking about them (Again), I will talk about my latest favorite new band, The Whip. Their latest song, Divebomb, has been described by some as "the best song Daft Punk never made". Even amongst the intense competition created by other dance acts such as Simian Mobile Disco and Justice, The Whip are slowly carving out their own area of the dance music market. A four piece (3 blokes, one girl) from Manchester, there is a slow mounting buzz surrounding this band: they have received rave reviews from music outfits-NME and XFM to name a few- and their live performances are said to be "mesmerising". Well, I've been intently listening to a few tracks on a recommendation from my brother, and all six tracks I've heard have been great. There are three of the best tracks below, with Trash being the standout, and you can download them all here, or click on their respective links.

The Whip- Divebomb
The Whip- Trash
The Whip- Frustration

You can buy a 12" by the Whip here...