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I was hoping that I would get booked to do a gig tomorrow night as I was going to go as the Ghost of DJs Past and I would most certainly have played all of below songs during the gig. Alas it seems tis not to be!
Anyway if you’re looking for some scary tunes for your Halloween evening, take some inspiration from the below. Happy Halloween!
The above video managed to get 200,000 views in just twenty-four hours. Pretty impressive for an Irish artist without major label backing who just released his first EP, right?
Meet Andrew Hozier-Byrne. Born on St. Patrick’s Day and hailing from County Wicklow, he is generating huge buzz in the music industry in recent weeks. He joined his first band when he was fifteen and, having taught himself to play guitar and piano, he went to Trinity College to study music. Hozier released the Take Me to Church EP two months ago. He played all the instruments (with input from Fiachra Kinder on drums), sang all the parts and recorded it at home. Rob Kirwan (who has worked with Depeche Mode and PJ Harvey amongst others) mixed the tracks in Dublin.
“Take Me to Church” was inspired by the recent homophobic attacks in Russia and the beautifully shot video is hard to watch but compelling. It has been praised internationally and Stephen Fry and Perez Hilton are just two people who have tweeted about it.
I could compare Hozier to others and give you easy musical signposts, but I’d rather let him speak for himself. “Take Me To Church” and “Angel Of Small Death” have a stompy soul/gospel feel. I really love the haunting backing vocals on “Like Real People Do”. “Cherry Wine” is a beautiful acoustic track which was recorded live at 6am on an abandoned hotel rooftop, with accompaniment from the dawn chorus. Given the fact that the dawn chorus is one of the most beautiful sounds I have ever heard you can understand why this track has found a permanent place in my heart. Hozier’s lyrics are worth paying close attention to. Just take the first two lines of the EP: “My lover’s got humour, She’s the giggle at a funeral…”
Here’s “Cherry Wine”, my personal favourite from the EP:
You can check out Hozier’s Facebook page here which is updated with details of gigs and his website is here. The EP is just €1.49 on iTunes (seriously guys, 37c a track is almost giving it away!) so support Irish music and buy it. I have had the EP on repeat in my house for a week and am falling more in love with it on every listen. And, if the amount of A & R reps at his recent Hard Working Class Heroes gig are anything to go by, he’s going to be huge.
(Just one question for the artist if he ever reads this: pronounced Hoo-zee-ay or Ho-zee-er? Or neither? I’d like to get it right!)
Any rock fan knows that if you were in New York City between 1973 and 2006 the best place to go and hear rock and roll was CBGB. A scuzzy club located in The Bowery, CBGB played host to legendary bands: Blondie, The Ramones, Television, Patti Smith and Talking Heads amongst hundreds of others.
Now the club is the subject of a new movie called (wait for it…) CBGB which hits screens in the US on 12th October. Alan Rickman plays Hilly Krystal, the owner of the club, and lots of up and coming actors take their turns as punk rock legends, including Malin Ackerman as Debbie Harry. At the very least the movie looks fun, but if you want the true story of CBGB, including why it eventually closed in 2006, you should check out the documentary Burning Down The House which was released in 2009 (trailer here).
Arcade Fire has released the first single from their upcoming fourth studio album Reflektor which is produced by ex-LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy. Murphy’s production stamp can certainly be heard on this almost eight minute long single, which is more electronic than previous Arcade Fire offerings. The band also collaborated with David Bowie who contributed backing vocals on this track.
Win Butler reports that Reflektor will be released as a double-album to accommodate the fact that many of the tracks are over seven minutes long. Based on this single I can’t wait to hear the rest of the album. Arcade Fire evolve their sound with each record, never happy to just play it safe, and that’s a quality I love.
The music video directed by Anton Corbijn is shot in his signature black and white, and features the band in huge papier-mâché heads dancing around a coffin filled with dolls, a guy in a silver mosiac suit and mask, and a giant disco ball amongst other oddities.
There’s also an interactive film that must be watched on Google Chrome and the whole process, as detailed in this great piece on The Atlantic, seems like a bit of a palaver, so I will put up my hands and say I haven’t watched it. If anyone has, please report back on whether it’s all worth it!
I have written before about the annoyance that is my jukebox brain. I had Jingle Bells stuck in my head all day about three weeks ago. Yes, that’s right, a Christmas song in the middle of August. Then there was the time I had Officer Krupke from West Side Story stuck in my head for six weeks about three years ago. Six effing weeks! As you can see, the jukebox is random, seasonally inappropriate and utterly baffling.
So now to the song that has been haunting me for a week. This one maybe isn’t so strange when you listen to the lyrics. This time, my brain is telling me something I already know! I found a nice version by Dianne Reeves which I’ve posted here.
“I do not ask for bliss I guess, it all boils down to this I guess,
I just want money and then more money and loads of lovely love”
80% of the time in my professional life I play party tunes. When I’m DJing, I’m there because people want to dance so I play upbeat rock and alternative songs. Therefore when I’m at home I tend to listen to entirely different music: a lot of jazz and hip-hop, and chilled-out stuff so my ears can have a break.
So today I decided to put together some tunes I listen to at home. This is a chilled-out playlist – stuff to listen to in your car, or while you’re sunbathing, or when you’re having a glass of wine after work. Nothing too hectic, nothing that requires glowsticks, or lighters in the air, or any effort on your part at all really!
There are some oldies like Drinking in L.A. by Bran Van 3000 which reminds me of the summer of 1999, and Make it Wit Chu (2007) which is one of the sexiest songs ever (or maybe that’s just because I fancy Josh Homme). And of course there are some newer tunes, like Father John Misty’s (which I adooooore!) and Fairytale Lullaby which sounds like either music for a hippie love-in or a very sweet children’s lullaby (I’m opting for the latter).
Hope this fills a gap in your summer listening!
You know the song that the above lyric is taken from, right? It’s the one I’ve been meaning to learn all the lyrics of so it can be my party trick for years to come. Anyway, this t-shirt would be great by day with jeans and kicks, awesome at night with skinny trousers and heels, and particularly apt for any hiphop DJ gigs I’ll be doing in the future. By Stylestalker from Urban Outfitters.
Now come on and sing the tune with me! “Hello…”
A weird thing can happen when you’re DJing (well lots of weird things but today we’ll focus on one!): when it comes to beloved bands, punters generally want to hear the classic songs and not anything new. It can take months for a new single to have percolated enough into the public consciousness before I can play it at a gig and people dance. For example the new Vampire Weekend song Diane Young which was released back in June still isn’t getting a big reaction at gigs, but when I play A Punk which is five years old, people dance like crazy. You’d think people would get sick of hearing the same tunes and want something new, but apparently not.
The most recent example is Kings of Leon. I played the new single, which I really like, twice over the weekend and no-one recognised it, despite Caleb Followill’s very distinctive vocals, or seemed to like it very much. When I played Sex On Fire the place went mental!
Anyway have a listen to their new single Supersoaker, for which they don’t yet have an official video, and see if you like it. I’m going to keep playing it at gigs and hopefully people will recognise it soon!
A friend of mine posted a wonderful music video to my Facebook page yesterday. It’s a project called Mindtunes, where DJ Fresh and Dr. Julien Castet worked with three physically disabled musicians, Andy Walker, Mark Rowland and Jo Portois, to create a piece of music using only their minds. Dr. Julien Castet manages the technology, which utilizes Brain-Computer Interfaces that allow individuals to send commands to a computer via their brainwaves. Brain waves are detected, measured and related to their associated brain functions and emotions, which a computer programme can then read and respond to. Smirnoff has partnered with Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People and the goal is to raise funds for the charity by deriving revenue for downloads of this track.
All in all it’s a wonderful and worthy project with huge implications for music technology. Below is the full length video which goes behind the scenes of the project. It’s fascinating and well worth a watch.