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.

Kings Of Leon return with 'Crawl'. The world stops spinning.

Kings Of Leon- Crawl (Link 2) (Link 3) or download from the band (preferably).

Discuss: Kings Of Leon- Unstoppable?

Kings Of Leon will creep up on you. Just when did they get this big? "This" being "walk-in-the-park Glasto headlining" big and "trotting out brilliant albums every year" big. I get the simultaneously wonderful and terrifying impression that nothing can stop this band... Most optimistic fans weren't expecting to hear from the band until 2009, at the earliest. And yet, information trickled out of the KOL camp that a new album, 'Only By The Night' is to be released in the US on September 22.

Yesterday, NME broke the news that they would be doing an exclusive free download of a new album track 'Crawl' between the hours of 3-5 PM on Monday 28th July. And download I did. The album now feels within touching distance. You can head over to NME now (the download is still up).

So, the verdict? These boys can do no wrong. 'Crawl' is dirty, grimy and sounds like a direct progression of their 'Because Of The Times' sessions. They riff on pop culture, with the repeated chorus of 'Walk away, walk away', and there is even enough time at the end for a fitting guitar solo (an element largely left out of their music... until now). In short, this song is nigh-on perfect, and once again, they appear to be moving onwards and upwards. The question is, will the Kings ever hit a wall? On the basis of this and the three preceding albums, I wouldn't bet on it.

The album's first single is called 'Fri On Fire'. No news on the release yet, but a mid-August release woudl be the safe bet to allow the pre-album heat to build. The album can be pre-ordered via Amazon. The band are also embarking on a UK arena tour this Christmas:

Brighton Centre (December 1)
Nottingham Trent FM Arena (
December 2)
Newcastle Metro Arena (
December 4)
Sheffield Arena (
December 5)
Glasgow SECC (
December 7)
Liverpool Echo Arena (
December 8)
Birmingham NIA (
December 10)
London O2 Arena (
December 11)
Bournemouth BIC (
December 14)
Manchester Evening News Arena (
December 16)
Cardiff International Arena (
December 17)

Subscribe to updates here

Happy 18th Birthday! Blogstars 1st Mixtape. The Cool Volume III.

Update 2: The fileden links went down due to popularity! You guys sucked up 5 Gb of bandwith in about 5 hours. I've re-uploaded all the individual tracks on zshare for your listening pleasure. Enjoy.

Update: The Lemur is turning 17 tomorrow- Blogstars have put together another completely original mixtape to celebrate the event. Make sure you take a visit, comment, and most of all say Happy Bday to the furry dude. The Lemur Blog

Yay! I'm 18 today (26th July)! How exciting! The plan for the day was wake up (after a late BBQ last night with some frivolity), take a run, have brunch, open a few pressies/cards and then go to see The Dark Knight. The evening was be topped off with a meal down at the beach. Perfecto. I'm not going to cover the day's celebrations yet, although I will say that The Dark Knight was fucking amazing. A full review will be posted once I have got over the emotionally draining experience that was the best film of 2008.

To tie in with my celebrations, a secret team of uber-bloggers (and a few DJs/musicians) have been working behind the scenes with myself to create a super-blogtastic 18th Birthday mixtape for you. And it rocks.

The Blogstars (remember that name- coming to an internet near you soon) have each chosen a song to be featured on the mixtape, bringing together a host of musical tastes and some of the best music blogs on the internet. Think of this as the Justice League of music. On the right of each song, you will find the blog which selected it- click through to see some more from each contributor. Oh, and enjoy, as I will be doing!

You can download each track individually, but to save time you can obtain the whole tape in singular files as a zip. Mixtape artwork is above/below- click through for mega-sized versions. The tracklisting is as follows:

Blogstars Presents Happy 18th Birthday Mixtape (Full).zip (Link 2)

1. Cut Copy- Lights And Music (Boyz Noize Happy Birthday Remix)... The Lemur Blog
2. Treasure Fingers- Come True Tonight (Dub Mix)... Immuzikation
3. Rihanna- Disturbia... Pretty Much Amazing
4. Grum- Go Back... Check The Availability
5. K-OS- Neutroniks... Party cmyk
6. VETO- Built To Fall... Where Did I Leave My Keys?
7. The Uglysuit- Chicago... Hypeful
8. The Game Ft. Lil' Wayne- My Life... Gordon DJ Stealth McGinnis
9. Cut Copy- Going Nowhere (Whitey Remix)... Ohh! Crapp
10. The Silent Years- The World's Worst Birthday Gift... Hypeful
11. Felix Da Housecat- Silver Screen Shower Scene... Neon Cool Kids, Yo!

Bonus Tracks:

1. Patton Oswalt- You Are Allowed 20 Birthday Parties

Diplo+Santogold=Top Ranking= The most insano, loopy mega mixtape in history.

Update: Links changed!

Santogold- I'm A Lady (Diplo Mix ft. Amanda Blank) (Link 2)
Santogold- Les Artistes (XXXchange Mix ft. Movado) (Link 2)
Richie Spice And Ratatat- Marijuana (Link 2)

You may have heard of Diplo and Santogold's new mega collaboration mix-tape 'Top Ranking'. I was late on the uptake (that changed, and fast), and if you still haven't got a clue, remove yourself from under that rock, and please Google it asap.

This tape is 'so hot right now', mostly down to it's ambition. Sprawling over 75 minutes, this is stacked full of rarities, with delectable names to boot. Does 'Santogold- Creator (Mumdance Mix ft Jammer, Badness, Chronik Rage, Slikman & Tempz)' float your boat?

'Top Ranking' is almost impossible to 'review' as such, due to its pure size and density. The majority of songs feature at least one artist (disregarding both Santogold and Diplo) if not three. I've listened to the tape in it's entirety a few times, and I will say this: if you love either Diplo or Santogold, this is an essential buy. However, to give you a track by track review of this mammoth tape would probably keep me glued to my computer for the best part of a week. Instead, take it as a whole- a whole that is absolutely incredible.

We get three completely new tracks from Santogold, and finally a musical meeting has been arranged between M.I.A. and Santi. They don't disappoint (see here for full coverage of 'Get It Up'), and I could easily see a Diplo/Santogold/M.I.A. tape coming out in the future -if M.I.A. continues with music, that is. And whilst I'm not fond of the constant comparisons between the two, this tape blurs the line between them. Diplo has worked with M.I.A. before on her Piracy Funds Terrorism tape- which was pretty much identical in concept.

The comparisons, however, are besides the point- Santogold and Diplo are the ones in the spotlight, not M.I.A. and Santi. They really are an unstoppable combination: Santogold is already one of the most inventive artists around at the moment, and Diplo never fails to accentuate and expand her sound even further. This tape has something for everyone, and pretty much every genre under the sun finds its way somewhere onto the 35 tracks. This tape is off the wall, absolutely insane and worth every penny. Cop it.

The tape is being released on Diplo's label Mad Decent. It's a steal at $9.00- purchase it from the Mad Decent store. The tracklisting is as follows:

01 "Dub Selection Intro"
02 Three 6 Mafia: "Late Night" (Unstoppable Mix)
03 Santogold: "Shuv It" (Disco D Blend) [exclusive]
04 Santogold: "I'm a Lady" (Diplo Mix ft. Amanda Blank) [exclusive]
05 Sir Mix-A-Lot: "Posse on Broadway"
06 Santogold: "Lights Out" (Diplo's Panda Bear Mix) [exclusive]
07 Aretha Franklin: "Save Me"
08 Devo: "Be Stiff"
09 B-52's: "Mesopotamia"
10 Gerri and the Holograms: "Gerri and the Holograms"
11 Santogold: "Anne" (Switch Mix) [exclusive]
12 Santogold: "L.E.S. Artistes" (XXXchange Mix ft. Movado)
13 Cutty Ranks: "Dutty Six Pack" [exclusive]
14 Santogold: "Find a Way" (Graeme and Switch Mix ft. Kid Cudi) / Lunar Camel [exclusive]
15 Richie Spice x Ratatat: "Marijuana"
16 Desmond Dekker: "007 (Shanty Town)"
17 Santogold: "Guns of Brooklyn" [exclusive]
18 Dixie Cups: "Iko Iko"
19 Tony Matterhorn: "Big Belly Guns" [exclusive]
20 Santogold: "Get It Up" (Radioclit mix ft. MIA & Gorilla Zoe) [exclusive]
21 "Mark Ronson in Studio"
22 Trouble Andrew: "Run - Hide"
23 Sister Nancy: "Pigeon Rock"
24 Nora Dean: "Barbwire"
25 Shinehead: "Know How Fe Chat"
26 The Clash: "Ghetto Defendant"
27 Warrior Queen: "Check It"
28 Santogold x Benga: "Unstoppable / Night Dub" [exclusive]
29 Shawty Lo x Skream: "Dey Know / Stagger"
30 Santogold: "Creator" (Mumdance Mix ft. Jammer, Badness, Chronik Rage, Slikman & Tempz) [exclusive]
31 Xray: "Turbulence Dubplate" (Starstruck Diplo Mix) [exclusive]
32 Barrington Levy: "Send a Moses"
33 Prince Jazzbo: "Ital Corner"
34 Santogold: "Icarus" [exclusive]
35 Santogold x Diplo: "Right Brigade" (hidden track) [exclusive]

The Strokes have another splinter cell. Nickel Eye.

Nickel Eye- Brandy Of The Damned (Link 2)
Nickel Eye- Dying Star (Link 2)
(Links up for limited time in interest of the artist)

Julian Casablancas will be getting worried now. Joining Albert Hammond Jr. in the 'this 4th album is taking fucking forever, I'm leaving' crowd is Nikolai Fraiture. You know him, he's the one that dresses sharp, exudes natural cool, shreds on the bass and looks like he doesn't give a fuck.

Under the name Nickel Eye -see what he did there? Jokes aside, its catchy- he has been recording a new album, 'The Time Of The Assassins', out soon. Two songs have been played on Mark Ronson's 'authentic shit' radio show, complete with 'don't bootleg this, internet' commentary. I'm sorry Mark- I had to... it's just too good to miss!

'Dying Star' features Nick Zinner of Yeah Yeah Yeah's fame, and other songs on the forthcoming album are said to feature Regina Spektor amongst other 'very special guests'. 'Brandy Of The Damned' is the stronger of the two premiered songs, and will be taking a coveted place in my top 20 songs of the year.

And now with rumours that Fabrizio is also building a solo project (called Little Joy- for the completists), Nick Valensi's numerous collaborations, Albert's blossoming solo career and Julian's Converse work, The Strokes 4th album is looking very distant. I'm not bothered- who needs The Strokes when each of their side projects are all as good as the latest band work? It's five for the price of one. No brainer.

There's no music up on Nickel Eye's Myspace as of yet, but that should change soon. Head over there for a nice story about the band's creation. Visit Mark Ronson's Authentic Shit page to hear an inteview with Nikolai.

Cold War Kids are back.

Update: Check this out: download the band's new single for free from RCRD LBL. Tickets are now on sale for the band's upcoming US tour. Catch them quick- the shows are already selling out.

In related news, Shockhound have a brilliant new competition- I think you guys should sign ASAP. The
Outside Lands Festival giveaway is offering one lucky winner 2 VIP passes to the three day festival in San Francisco, a round trip airfare (from anywhere), and 4 nights of hotel accommodation. Runner-ups will be getting ShockHound.com gift certificates (for the online mp3 store, soon to be opened- $.99 songs!). This is final week of entry, so run over to ShockHound and enter for a chance to see an amazing line-up that includes Radiohead, Beck, Tom Petty, Jack Johnson, Cold War Kids and The Black Keys!

Cold War Kids are slowly gearing up for the release of their second album, 'Loyalty To Loyalty', out September 23rd. They debuted the first single from the album, 'Something Is Not Right With Me' yesterday on their Myspace.

'Robbers And Cowards' was unbelievably amazing, especially for a debut album. And no Cold War Kids song is complete without some of Nathan Willet's whelping, and we get a full dose of it here. This song might just be more catchy than 'Hang Me Up To Dry', if possible.

Pre-order 'Loyalty To Loyalty' here.

Cold War Kids 2008 Tour Dates:
08/22 - San Francisco, CA @ Outside Lands Festival
08/23 - Los Angeles, CA @ Sunset Junction Festival
08/24 - Bend, OR @ Les Schwab Amphitheater *
09/20 - San Diego, CA @ Street Scene
09/27 - Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
09/28 - Vancouver, BC @ Richards on Richards
09/29 - Seattle, WA @ The Showbox at the Market
10/01 - Boise, ID @ The Neurolux
10/02 - Salt Late City, UT @ In the Venue
10/03 - Boulder, CO @ Boulder Theatre
10/10 - Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line Music Cafe
10/11 - Chicago, IL @ Vic Theare
10/14 - Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
10/15 - New York, NY @ Webster Hall
10/16 - Brooklyn, NY @ Williamsburg Music Hall
10/17 - Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre of Living Arts
10/18 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
10/20 - Carrabo, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
10/21 - Nasville, TN @ Mercy Lounge
10/23 - Ft. Worth, TX @ Lola’s
10/24 - Austin, TX @ Emo’s
10/25 - Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live
10/26 - New Orleans, LA @ Voodoo Music Experience

Kirsten Price: Girls got pipes. And soul. And, well, everything.

Kirsten Price- Magic Tree (Link 2) (Link 3)

I'll be honest- I'm not a singer-songwriter guy by any stretch of the imagination. You could stretch Sufjan Stevens into that category, but his music is extremely inventive and massively expansive. Lightspeed Champion is too honest, relevant and depressed to be cornered. Scouring my library, Paolo Nutini is about as much as I can stand in short stints. So basically it's not really my thing.

I am, however, open to those who want to change my opinion. And Kirsten Price really has. So, I recieved an email (all of which I love to read and listen to), visit the Myspace, as per usual.

The first thing that surprised me was how familiar her sound was. Not in a 'I am totally unoriginal' way, in a 'I've just blended all the things you love into one package' way. Which is a perfect start. So, who does she sound like? Well, to me at least, a potent vocal mix of KT Tunstall, Kelly Clarkson and Joss Stone, with added songwriting skills. On 'Magic Tree', she executes a 'Mrs Independant' vocal performance. It's an equally brilliant pop tune, and the inventiveness of this radio-friendly song has been transported across all the songs I have heard.

In many ways, Kirsten has already won the war- she's shared the stage with a host of A-list artists including Wyclef Jean, Sly and the Family Stone and the grammy-nominated Groove Collective, has some strong press under her belt and a huge host of fans. All that remains is a little airtime. I suggest you fight her corner, starting now or soon... This girl is going places, with or without us.

'Guts And Garbage', her debut album, was released on July 1st, as a re-release on Kirsten's own label. Run over to Kirsten's Myspace for the summer touring schedule and more information on the album.

DEFINITIVE: Rihanna's 'Disturbia' Video- Gigantic mind-****


Rihanna- Disturbia (Link 2) (Link 3)
Rihanna- Disturbia (Jody Den Broader Remix) (Link 2) (Link 3)
Rihanna- Disturbia (Anthony Lago Vs. Flashlight Creeping Club Remix) (Link 2) (Link 3)

So, Rihanna has really changed. There is obviously much more to this Barbadian teen (apparently not- she's now 20) that we first thought.

'Disturbia' is a departure for Rihanna- it's not as chart-safe as her previous output, and with the exception of 'Umbrella', arguably superior. The video has been long in the making- ever since I heard the opening line 'What's wrong with me? Why do I feel like this?', we've known that something was up.

The video is a weird mix between a 'Blue Orchid' style stop motion with some very strange imagery. From bodypaint to bodybuilders, this video exudes a feeling of unease. This is what pop music videos are meant to be like. Do you love it?

[Buy]

Nationwide Mercury Prize 2008 shortlist- The debate IS OVER

Update: So the list has been announced in a ceremony today, with some notable absences. Duffy, Coldplay and Lightspeed Champion were all left off the list, whilst Laura Marling and Burial both look like serious contenders for the prize. Official list as follows:

Adele - '19'
British Sea Power - 'Do You Like Rock Music?'
Burial - 'Untrue'
Elbow - 'The Seldom Seen Kid'
Estelle - 'Shine'
The Last Shadow Puppets - 'The Age Of The Understatement'
Laura Marling - 'Alas I Cannot Swim'
Neon Neon - 'Stainless Style'
Portico Quartet - 'Knee-Deep In The North Sea'
Robert Plant And Alison Krauss – 'Raising Sand'
Radiohead - 'In Rainbows'
Rachel Unthank And The Winterset – 'The Bairns'


Tomorrow morning, the shortlist for the 2008 Mercury Prize is announced. Who should be on the list? NME's potential shortlist was as follows- my selections of their expanded list are highlighted in red. I've included a track of each of my selected albums for you to sample. Download the whole mix below as a zip, take a long listen to my picks, add your own and submit your personal list in the comments.

I'm voting for Lightspeed Champion and Laura Marling as the dark horses that will come and pull the rug out from underneath everyone else.

Who should be on the list?

Mercury Prize Shortlist Sampler.zip (Link 2)

Adele – '19'
Babyshambles – 'Shotter's Nation'
British Sea Power – 'Do You Like Rock Music?' ... Atom

Burial – 'Untrue' ... Archangel
Coldplay – 'Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends' ... Lovers In Japan (Acoustic)

Duffy – 'Rockferry'
Elbow – 'The Seldom Seen Kid' ...
Bones Of You
The Enemy – 'We'll Live And Die In These Towns'
Estelle – 'Shine' ...
You Are (ft. John Legend)
Foals – 'Antidotes' ... Hummer
Future Of The Left – 'Curses'
The Futureheads – 'This Is Not The World'
Hot Chip – 'Made In The Dark' ... Wrestlers
Jamie Lidell – 'Jim'
Johnny Flynn – 'A Larum'
Kate Nash – 'Made Of Bricks'
Kids In Glass Houses – 'Smart Casual'
The Kills – 'Midnight Boom'
The Last Shadow Puppets – 'The Age Of The Understatement' ... Two Hearts In Two Weeks
Laura Marling – 'Alas I Cannot Swim' ... You're No God
Lightspeed Champion – 'Falling Off The Lavender Bridge' ... Dry Lips
Los Campesinos! – 'Hold On Now Youngster' ... You! Me! Dancing!
MIA – 'Kala' ... Paper Planes Mystery Jets – '21' ... Hideaway
Neon Neon – 'Stainless Style' ... I Told Her On Alderaan
The Pigeon Detectives – 'Emergency'
Portishead – 'Third' ... We Carry On
Radiohead – 'In Rainbows' ... House Of Cards
Spiritualized – 'Songs In A&E'
These New Puritans – 'Beat Pyramid'
The Ting Tings – 'We Started Nothing'
Tricky – 'Knowle West Boy'
Wiley – 'Grime Wave'
The Wombats – 'The Wombats Proudly Present... A Guide To Love, Loss And Desperation'

The Dark Knight sets opening record- $155.34 million!

Above and below- two of the most breathtaking posters you will ever see. Click through for glorified super high-res versions!

Santogold- Starstruck (Diplo Remix) (Link 2)

Discuss: Did you help The Dark Knight break these records? What's your verdict?

The dreams have come true. The Dark Knight has broken a long list of records on it's opening weekend, and I for one am ecstatic. It's great to see a mature, brilliant, non-universally friendly film making a shed load of money, and finally knocking the trash that was Spiderman 3 off the opening weekend record list. Titanic still remains as the highest grossing film ever (and will continue to), but at least TDK has started the clear up job. Maybe Titanic is a job for the next Batman sequel?

The Dark Knight took $155.34 million, beating Spiderman 3's previous record of $151 million by over $4 million dollars, which isn't a lot in relative terms. On the way to this absolutely astounding figure, Batman also set a host of other records, including the following.
  1. Film playing on most screens: 4366
  2. Opening-night midnight takings: $18.5 million
  3. Opening day takings: $67.8 million (biggest one-day total ever)
  4. Midnight IMAX screens takings: $640,000
  5. IMAX weekend takings: $6.2 million
Eat that, credit crunch. Even you cannot stop people going out to see what will now surely be held as one of the greatest movie's ever. I will have to wait to pass judgment, as I am holding out to see The Dark Knight on my birthday (26th July, in case anyone wants to send me a presents- jokes!). The Dark Knight also currently holds the number 1 spot on imdb's top films of all time. There is clearly something about this flick that has really stirred up the public, as The Dark Knight is the first film ever to unseat The Godfather from this hallowed list.

The Rest... Sleeper hit of the year?

The Rest- The Close Western (Link 2)

If you read a selection of the more prominent blogs- my own core selection includes PMA, Hypeful, Gorrilla Vs. Bear and Stereogum- you generally get a comprehensive list (but by no means complete) of stuff that you're probably either listening to, or should be. Sometimes we miss stuff once or twice, but another blog will happily fill you in. And very, very occasionally, the collective blogosphere misses something altogether.

One of the few bands that full under this category (in my short time blogging) are The Rest. They emailed me a couple of weeks ago, bringing themselves and their debut album 'Atlantis, Oh Our Saviour' to my attention, even including a quote which addresses the above situation:

"…a seemingly seasoned performance which may be one of the biggest indie rock sleepers from the past couple of years…considering the band's apparently overlooked status in the blogging community."- Joe Tacopino- PopMatters.com

I try to take most submissions as they come, and not get over excited. I did the opposite, after being really impressed by one of the three songs on their Myspace: 'The Close Western'. The only thing I can really compare it to is the Arcade Fire, 'Funeral' era. The vocals from Adam Bentley are truly outstanding, and actually bring on chills; they're really reminiscent of Alec Ounsworth from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah mixed with Win Butler, and the 7 piece band's sound is complex, building from the smallest of openings into a full blown instrumental accompaniment.

The band have just released their sophomore album, 'Everyone All At Once', whilst debut 'Atlantis, Oh My Saviour' can be downloaded for free on the band's Myspace (although I suggest you pay for it!). I can't recommend them enough- great band's get overlooked, but I feel as if this time around, we're in a privileged position to change that. Lend a hand.

Santogold+M.I.A... The comparisons end.


Whilst Santogold is once again taking the web by storm, second time around she's not alone. Instead, her new mixtape with Diplo ('Top Ranking'- I will be posting on this once I buy it) has brought together Santi and M.I.A, alongside a host of other crazy collaborations. She has quite clearly been bitten by the bug after 'My Drive Thru' became far more popular than it deserved to.

Santogold has been touted as the next M.I.A. since she burst on to the scene, and it's a comparison that has dogged her rather than pushed her career forward. If anything, this track proves that whilst there are some undeniable comparisons, Santi and Maya are two completely different artists, with their own interpretations. And thank god, because if it was any other way this track wouldn't be worth listening to.

This song is a wonder, as if you had stuffed the best moments of 'Kala' and 'Santogold' into 3 minutes. We have sirens, a guest rapper -Gorilla Zoe, who sounds remarkably like Busta- and cat calls from M.I.A., and Santogold's diverging harmonies, humming and bass driven melody. Oh, and how could I forget- influences from a truckload of different genres find their way into the song. It works in a way that we will never comprehend.

Coldplay and the tale of the ever expanding 'Viva La Vida'

Coldplay- Death Will Never Conquer (Link 2)

I would love to be Brian Eno. Not for the reputation, nor the money, but purely so I could take a listen to all the off-cuts from Coldplay's latest album, 'Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends' at my own pleasure.

The first of many b-sides and free releases came a few days ago in the form of 'Death Will Never Conquer'. A short track, just over 1 minute long, it's back to basics- just Chris and a piano. Or, live, Will Champion (drummer for Coldplay) and a piano. And here's where it gets interesting- Will has a good voice. An amazing voice, in fact. He might not have Chris quaking in his boots, but I absolutely love it when a band unveils a whole new dimension to their sound. Thing of the possibilities! Harmonies? They've done that. An album sung entirely by Will? Perhaps thats the plan for album number 4?

The song itself isn't exhilarating, but what it represents is. Now if only someone can release the vocal version of 'Life In Technicolour', my life will be complete.

Would you like a deluxe edition of Viva La Vida, including every track they recorded?

Bumper Summer Movie Review/Preview

Update- Empire, Joblo and a few other sites have cottoned on to the 'new terminator model'. In the time it took me to write this, it appears loads of people have freeze-framed! View a trailer analysis.

Films, Films, Films.zip
(Link 2)

Well- here we are. As requested, welcome to The Cold Cut summer movie extravaganza. It's actually a lot more exciting than it sounds. I'm going to take you on a chronological journey through what will be remembered as one of the biggest summer movie seasons ever. And as this is inherently a music blog, you can take breaks and download some of the great tracks people are feeling at the moment. Enjoy, comment, relax. I may be updating as I go along.

Common ft. Pharrell- Announcement (Dirty)

Before I get started on my summer movie round-up, I would first like to point something out. I'm sure many of you will have seen the Terminator: Salvation trailer by now, and it looks promising. The teaser is hard to take in because of the way it was put together- a gritty live news shooting style-, but if you take a frame by frame of the 1080p trailer (download here) you come across some interesting details. First of all, we get a clear shot of what appears to be a new Terminator... a prototype we haven't seen before (click through for a huge version). Yes, that does appear to be a rather large chaingun. Scary.

The same robot (or a similar one) can be seen again a few seconds later, as a victim climbs upwards, presumably to escape. I guessed from the glowing red eyes.

Anyway, I'm not aware of anyone else pointing this out, and there's a lot riding on this film if a new trilogy is to be spawned from it. The teaser trailer is intriguing, showing off some daylight shots (which have been mostly left out of the franchise, until now) and Christian Bale, who brings guaranteed excellence to a film- he seems to have this innate ability to make any movie completely watchable- Equilibrium anyone? McG might not be the obvious choice for director, but perhaps this is the kind of big-budget vehicle that a failing director needs? He seems to be going for the right vibe, and it looks as if the events of T3 have been wiped from the world's history (now if only we could do the same), perhaps tying in the time-travelling concept of the recent TV series? If anyone with some knowledge could shed some light on this idea I would be appreciative.

Discuss: Terminator: Salvation... Will it be any good?

The Hold Steady- Constructive Summer

As summer movie season's go, 2008 will go down as one of the most intense. The quality of films hasn't been considerably superior (and in some cases- cough*The Love Guru*cough- so painfully sub-par) but the pure volume of films that warrant an 'I want to see that' reaction is greater than ever before.

Perhaps it's down to the industries perfection of cutting a trailer? Hancock came across as a completely different film in the previews, and even films like Meet The Spartans managed to float at the box office by placing all their 'funny' jokes in the trailers. Maybe we are too impressionable? I know the feeling I had when the Iron Man trailer opened: 'No gang signs... just joking, throw it up!'. We were sold!

Immuzikation- Whoa, Yerr A Joke!

The season kicked off much earlier than usual, with Marvel's heavily tipped Iron Man opening on May 2. As origin stories go, Iron Man was uncharacteristically fun, largely due to Robert Downey Jr's complete domination of the film and part of Tony Stark. There are some moments -the pole slowly rising up in the plane, the closing line 'You know what... I am Iron Man'- that you simply won't see anywhere else in any other superhero film.

In a recent interview, he explained his unusual commercial choice of a superhero film because he 'wanted more than five people to see his film'. He really got his wish. I was one of the millions of satisfied people who forked out for admission, and Iron Man was the first summer movie to take over $300 million domestically. Those kind of figures were a huge boost for the newly independent Marvel Studio's, and they followed it up a month later with The Incredible Hulk. Whilst not quite as enjoyable, the casting was still incredibly inspired, and the film went on to $225 million worldwide, the final figures no doubt pulled down by memories of Ang Lee's 2003 version of the Hulk. Regardless, a strong commercial one-two, no?

Coldplay vs Nas- If I Viva La Vida (Starters Remix)

Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. Enjoyable, and well... that's about it for me. I wasn't really expecting the second coming or anything along those lines, and Indy fulfilled my expectations. So, basically, if you went in with high hopes, you might have been disappointed. The one thing I took from it is that Shia LaBeouf is one of the shining stars of our generation: he will be as big, if not bigger, than Hanks and the Cruiser were in their prime. And that homage at the end, with the hat flying by... he may just have another franchise at his feet. Whilst we're on Shia, watch the trailer for Eagle Eye if you haven't already.

Discuss: Shia LaBeouf... soon to be a real household name?

Then came Wanted. Thus far it's my favourite film of the summer, and this is mostly down to good old Timur Bekambetov. I've watched both Night Watch and Day Watch, and whilst they're a little kooky you cannot deny that the guy has an eye for a perfect shot. Wanted proved that Timur arguably works better in English than Russian, bound by the acceptable laws of Western films, and the box office complied- Wanted 2 and Kick Ass (another Mark Millar series) are already in the works. Even bound by the rules, Timur completely reinterpreted many institutions of modern action- half of the action sequences in Wanted featured stuff that I had never seen before, from bending bullets and guns to catching weapons out of mid-air. It reminded many of watching The Matrix for the first time.

Coldplay- Death Will Never Conquer (more on this one soon)

And finally, Hancock. It was always going to be amazing, or... rubbish. It was the latter, and yet something saved this film. Although it was a convoluted mess, one thing shone through. Will Smith. Or giving credit where it's due, Will Smith and Jason Bateman. Their relationship and character's were just too strong for the script and other character's to match. I get the feeling that Peter Berg was aware of that and adjusted the script around that core premise, as an original screenplay of 'Tonight, He Comes' wouldn't have worked around that genuine joe/alcoholic superhero dynamic. It worked... Berg toned down the violence and sexual aspects of the original storyline to retain a PG-13 rating, and the film has already made over $300 million worldwide.

Fortunately, the future is bright. My two most anticipated releases are still to come- Wall-E and, of course, The Dark Knight. Two 10/10 films, without a shadow of a doubt. First things first, Wall-E. This film is a testament to the ability of the talented guys at Pixar. More so than any other studio, they produce consistently moving films, and Wall-E is no different. The buzz is huge, with statements like 'Stanton and co. can produce emotions from two animated robots than most directors can't coax out of their leading actors'. That sort of praise shouldn't be taken lightly!

And then, The Dark Knight. Everything I can say about this film has already been covered. Never before have I seen this kind of hype, and early reviews say it's justified. As well as being the best comic book film ever, we all hope The Dark Knight will never be forgotten. It deserves to break records, and it has- even before it has opened, The Dark Knight has set a record for the most screens playing... 4366 (see here). That figure lays a very strong foundation for some box-office records- we shall see what the 3 day figures hold after the weekend!

Lily Allen- Guess Who Batman (Fuck You Very Much)

I am so unbelievably excited about this film, and I really hope that it goes down as a classic. In some ways, The Dark Knight was almost destined to be huge- the viral marketing campaign is a work of genius, Christopher Nolan has produced a handful of brilliant films (but no masterpiece- until now) and the production of this film is an amazing story in itself. And Heath, well... it deeply saddens me that he cannot be here to witness the finished product, but I hope it is how he envisaged it. A posthumous Oscar would be a fitting reward for such a performance. R.I.P.

Discuss: Seen The Dark Knight? Is it the film of summer 2008? IMAX or standard cinema- is there a huge difference?

T.I.- No Matter What

So, that wraps up the movie season thus far. Before you leave, I really suggest you watch the new Watchmen trailer a couple of times. It's truly incredible. I haven't read the comics, but after this I'm really considering it; it appears that Zack Snyder has understood what's realistically required of him as the director of such a monument. He just gets the fans. After seeing this, I feel fairly confident predicting a masterpiece of sorts. The trailer is unlike anything I've ever seen- Snyder is able to show random footage and it still sends my jaw to the floor... it's that beautiful and wonderfully realised.



View a high definition version of the trailer over at Apple.com

Lily Allen strikes gold again.

Lily Allen- Who'd Of Known (Link 2) (Link 3)

'Smile' was the song that alerted us all to Lily Allen's presence. At first a sickly sweet relationship tale, it morphed over a summer of domination into the song that we all loved to hate, as most radio friendly single's do. Next came 'LDN', which also metamorphosed, but not to such an extent. And finally: 'Alright, Still' a great debut album, full of wit, energy and originality. It is, however, an impressive debut album which is about to be eclipsed by her follow up, allegedly titled 'Stuck On The Naughty Step'.

We cannot underestimate the quality of the four demos that Lily has uploaded onto her Myspace. We had the emotional double whammy of 'I Could Say' and 'I Don't Know', followed by 'Guess Who Batman', an attack on politics. Lily has taken this album into her own hands, recording the demos with Garage band, on her own.

In this, the latest, wrongly titled 'Who'd Of Known' (grammar's not her strong point?), we have a simple song with a nice back-story:

"I have put up a song that wont make it on the album. I ripped off the chorus from take that and I can't be bothered with the paperwork, so here ya go."

Visit Lily's Myspace for updates on her album progress.

Mercury- AMAZING Telemitry Remix

Bloc Party- Mercury (Telemitry Mix) (Link 2) (Link 3)

Telemitry, take a long, exaggerated bow. For you are the true master. Where have you been for the last few weeks?

Since the Telemitry remix of 'Viva La Vida' -which turned it into a sure-fire dance floor hit- I have been waiting for a similar challenge to come along. 'Mercury' is it, and this version of the song is easily superior to the Bloc Party version. Telemitry basically had the balls to do what Kele imagined. This is the definitve remix of 'Mercury- there's no need to look elsewhere. They might as well re-release the single with this as a B-Side. All I can say is, 'well done'.

Visit Telemitry's Myspace.

Beck- 'Modern Guilt' Review

7/10

More so than any other musician of the last two decades, Beck Hansen has never been comfortable in his own skin... He is driven by an obsession to continually reinvent himself between albums and tours. It's a dilemma which has garnered him tags of 'the most idiosyncratic musician alive' and 'alternative', coupled with his challenging, engaging and occasionally perfect music.

Beck- Modern Guilt (Link 2)

'The Information', his last release, was deemed underwhelming and was unsurprisingly compared (as all Beck's album's are) to the seminal masterpiece that is 'Odelay'. It came up short, and 'Guero' suffered the same fate. 'Modern Guilt' is a return to form, with regards to a high quality finish across all the songs- that's not to suggest that this album is singular in its approach... instead, it flits between speeds, styles and focus, and Dangermouse has obviously enjoyed the chance to work with a new vocalist: whereas Cee-Lo can make any lyric seem interesting, Beck must have presented more of a challenge, one that he has not shied from.

Beck's albums always resist classification, and every time he's anywhere near to being cornered he simply moves on. Each and every album in his repetoire rips on those that have come before it, and whilst his last few albums haven't converted his experience into enjoyable music, 'Modern Guilt' has come good . Musically, I think this is his most complete selection of songs since 'Sea Change', and only falls just short of that milestone.

'Chemtrails' was the first single taken from the album, premiering on Zane Lowe's Radio 1 show. As his most haunting single ever, it displays that even Beck realised that he has deviated from his usual standards over the last few years. 'Gamma Ray', however, as a more upbeat potential single, was more likely to catch the press' collective eye. It evokes feelings of psychedelia and is more reminiscent of his earlier albums.

Beck- Gamma Ray
(Link 2)

Dangermouse as producer is an inspired choice, and he recreates the eerie setting of ''St Elsewhere' with ease. Beck also seems determined to create something entirely new, and the result is slightly subdued, dominated by the sounds on the lower end of the register. Look no further than 'Volcano' for proof of this.

I liked 'The Information', not least for it's album artwork (or initial lack of) and seeing Beck really test his abilities as he wished. It wasn't captivating or enjoyable for long periods of time, but there were some moments of brilliance across its sprawling 61 minutes. And again, here some of the electronic elements have seeped into his conscience, notably on 'Youthless'. Notably, the album's numbers don't stack up- at 31 minutes, it's far too short, and Beck could have compromised with a few more songs. The large majority of the ten songs top out at 3 minutes, with the shortest- 'Walls'- lasting a mere 2 minutes 22 seconds. Unfortunately, it's an intensely enjoyable song, and was most likely murdered in the editing studio.

Beck- Youthless (Link 2)

'Modern Guilt' isn't perfect. The last ten years have seen Hansen become more involved in the experimental concepts of his music and progressively less interested in the performance (hence the distracting puppet show on his 'Cellphone's Dead' tour). 'Modern Guilt' is more consistently enjoyable than his last two albums, and in achieving this, Beck may have had to curb his experimental enthusiasm. Whether this loss is manifested in his live efforts instead remains to be seen. Neglecting this, 'Modern Guilt' is a more than passable stepping stone onto Beck's next endeavour.

'Modern Guilt' can be purchased from Amazon.

'My Drive Thru' Video Premieres. And It's Amazing!

Pharrell, Santogold and Julian Casablancas- My Drive Thru

I'm not in the mood to regurgitate a former post and start ramming 'My Drive Thru' down your throats. It seems to fit into the Marmite mold- you love it or you hate it. I am in the former category, purely because this song is too cool for school. I'm also salivating at the prospect of further Converse collaborations, purportedly from MGMT and Does It Offend You, Yeah?.

The new video for 'My Drive Thru' premiered a few days ago, and it's just as slick as the song itself. First things first, it is entirely original, a luxury in the modern advertising world. I have never seen the cut-out technique used in a music video, and it fits like a glove. All in all, a perfect pitch from Converse.

Beatology.

Beatology.zip (Link 2)

When Jay-Z performed on Glastonbury 2008's second night, he effectively altered British music festivals. In doing so, he simultaneously made a mockery of all those who doubted whether hip-hop belonged in a British festival atmosphere- yes, Noel, that's you. I personally hate the fact that these genres are largely left out of European line-ups, and when they're included, they are swept onto smaller stages.

Jay-Z- Wonderwall/99 Problems (Live At Glastonbury)
Jay-Z- Rehab (Live At Glastonbury)
Jay-Z- American Boy (Live At Glastonbury)

Jay-Z is the first rap artist to play on the main stage of a mainstream UK festival and to recieve extensive coverage, and his set was a huge success, hopefully opening up new avenues for artists such as Lupe Fiasco and Kanye West who also have brilliant stage presence. Let's all be honest- he bossed it. Jay had everything at Glasto: political relevance, controversy, the tunes and a brilliant show. As did Lupe, who gave a confident and energetic performance (watch it), on the small Jazz World stage, when in the US such an artist probably would have been centre stage. Although it looks like that is about to change. Especially with the following set of tunes flying the flag:

A-Trak ft. Lupe Fiasco- Mastered

A-Trak was the latest musician drafted to create a Nike+ soundtrack, entitled 'Running Man'. He must have pounced on the chance of distancing himself from Kanye West and his ever-expanding ego (I still love you Kanye), and he modestly illustrates why he has one five DMC championships. Using some of his contacts from the Glow In The Dark tour, he drafts in Lupe Fiasco, who all but carries the song. In small doses, this type of music is really great. I can't, however, see him successfully producing a Mark Ronson aping album. Myspace

John Legend ft. Andrew 3000- Green Light

It's a case of less musicianship, more commercial appeal with this song. John doesn't sacrifice too much, and the combination of the two vocals has a really strong R'n'B vibe. Myspace

T.I.- Swing Your Rag

Since 'My Love' was release, and running up to 'Love In This Club', T.I. was everywhere, and probably on the cusp of a Lil' Wayne style commercial breakthrough. Unfortunately, he's now under house arrest, and has been quietly working away at a new album, 'Paper Trail'. 'Swing Your Rag' is one of 50 recorded tracks- expect the album to drop mid September. Myspace

Pin Me Down- Born out of inter-band tension?

Pin Me Down- Cryptic (Link 2)
Pin Me Down- Pretty In Pink (Link 2)

This really isn't me, but all I can say is... fuuuuuuuck. Why didn't someone tell me earlier? Why did you leave me out of the party? Pin Me Down are so, so, so incredibly ace, and clearly destined for huge things. Why 'Cryptic' isn't number vexes me. It came out in May, and I've only just heard about it? Boy-girl duo's are based around a nice dynamic, and in Milena Mepris and Russell Lissack from Bloc Party, we have a combo for the ages.

I'm almost certain that there's a good story behind this duo. Since 'Flux' came out, Bloc Party interviews have been less than chilled, as if Kele was forging a path for the band that he alone wanted to take. And 'Mercury' must have been even more taxing... I like the song, but do you notice that huge gaping silence? That's the gap left by Russell- as my brother correctly questioned: what's the point of writing songs which don't use one of the best guitarists of the modern age? Nice one, Kele. Stop being moody, continue with this experimentation, but use Russell as well as those nice synth lines.

Enough of Bloc Party- Pin Me Down are, as a breaking band, in a league of their own. At this point, we can only be sure of one thing: Russell is hiding a super song-writing brain behind that killer fringe.

Visit Pin Me Down's myspace page, and buy 'Cryptic' from the iTunes store.

Bloc Party+Cryptic Countdown= Mercury


I'm not a 'report every piece of music news' kind of guy, so I wasn't going to talk about Bloc Party's cryptic countdown (see full story) until it came to fruition, and it has. The countdown was (as suspected) for the release of new material. Or more specifically, a new single, entitled 'Mercury', to be released on 11th August.

At this point, I would struggle to describe it as anything but 'different'. And a live enigma- with a combination of blaring trombones and vocal loops, Bloc Party's original set-up will struggle with the amount of noise generated for their new songs (although 'Flux' comes off well). It's a tad repetitive at this point in time, but still continues the theme of electronic experimentation that Kele has obviously fallen in love with.

Both guitar and bass are neglected in favour of this new direction, although the heavy synth line- used as the basis of 'Flux'- pops up a few times. I'm slowly falling in love with this song, but honestly, if it wasn't Bloc Party, I really wouldn't give it the time of day. But then, maybe that was Kele's plan- find the way into our hearts with perfect pop songs, and then pull the once over in search of his true love- beats/electronica. Whether the rest of Bloc Party are so enamoured remains to be seen.

Watch the official video below, and hear the interview Kele gave before premiering the single with Zane Lowe on Radio 1. The single will be released as follows:

'Mercury' CD:
1. Mercury
2. Mercury (Hervé is in disarray Remix)
3. Mercury (CSS Remix)
4. Mercury (Flosstrodamus Remix)

Heavyweight 'Mercury' 12”:
Side A. Mercury (12” Version)
Side B. Mercury (12” Instrumental)

'Mercury' Heavyweight 7”:
Side A. Mercury
Side B. Idea For A Story

Pre-order the single from the band's website!



N.E.R.D.- 'Seeing Sounds' Review


8/10

N.E.R.D.- Anti Matter (Link 2)
NERD- Spaz (Link 2)
NERD- You Know What (Link 2)

N.E.R.D.'s 'Seeing Sounds' is surprisingly simple to review. In short, this is an album that almost (it's annoyingly close) realises their potential. That being said, their potential is a modern classic, so the results are still brilliant.

If we are honest with each other, N.E.R.D. have never equaled the sum of their parts. The Neptunes (also known as Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo) are held in high esteem, and thought to be some of the most influential producers of the modern age. And yet, whilst their studio work fizzles and cracks with creative thought, Pharrell and Chad (joined by Shay Haley) as N.E.R.D. can't quite seem to keep their own boat fully afloat. Until now... whilst previous output has been fairly pedestrian- limited to a few choice singles with some passable filler- 'Seeing Sounds' is the best of the bunch, by a long, long way.

Lead single 'Everybody Nose' was a good choice, although the content (girl's lining up bathrooms/coke) would have made more of an impact if the meaning was instantly clearer to the average Joe. The video is the missing link, with some rough looking girls wiping their noses, whilst N.E.R.D. move around with energy. Could it be any clearer? 'Spaz' is the album stand-out. Williams' lyrics are direct, for a change, and actually mean something, accompanied by a catchy chorus. A promising prospect, and this song is not alone on the album, where Williams puts his updated lyrical tilt to good use- all his time with CRS has been seriously beneficial, and it's obvious that copious notes have been taken from Lupe and Mr. West. Therein lies the key to NERD progressing further.

The music itself is largely flawless, and given the comprehensive 'Glow In The Dark Tour', I'm sure they will be able to reproduce it live, note for note (any comments on that tour would be appreciated). In terms of beats and backing, 'Seeing Sounds' is privy to the best production of the year, with numerous breakdowns, some experimental instrumental sections and original beats and samples. Pharrell struggles with his vocals (which should have been left to Shay), with songs such as 'Happy' forcing him to overuse his falsetto. If N.E.R.D. have a weakness, Williams' vocals are it. They are lucky that they can overcome this small issue using familiarity as a distraction.

I find it hard to criticise N.E.R.D. for their previous habit of treating albums as a selection of separate songs, as that is essentially what The Neptunes are paid to do. Thankfully, this little quibble has been solved. 'Seeing Sounds' fits together nicely, with a handful of songs linking seamlessly into each other. That must be down to the concept behind the album title: 'synesthesia', or a neurological phenomenom where sounds are seen as colours. It's a bright move, but I honestly can't see how this ties into most of the songs (besides a few vocal cues: " Close your eyes see colorful things you wanna"), most pointedly 'Anti Matter'. I'm willing to give a little, though, when such a diverse song is involved (samples, heavy bass, rap, synths, a breakdown)- what more could you really want?

The experimental aspects are pushed even further forward. Pharrell quite clearly doesn't give a shit about the journos opinion, and I respect him for that. Unfortunately, this has backfired on N.E.R.D., as none of the songs on this album are instant. 'Seeing Sounds' needs to be slowly digested, and the short time frame allotted to most music journalists has most likely made them unable to appreciate this album's (and its predecessors') intricacies. More than any other album of the last few years, 'Seeing Sounds' grows and grows- certainly, I really wasn't impressed when I first heard it, but I'm considering revisiting their earlier output to look for similar tell-tale signs of a missed opportunity. I sincerely suggest you follow my lead.

'Seeing Sounds' can be purchased on Amazon.