The Oscars happened, so did some festival announcements. Plus Louis was a lad for a weekend.
Pharoahe Monch has had a career of mixed success. His 1999 solo debut Internal Affairs gained the New York rapper a place on every hip-hop party playlist, with the shout-along classic ‘Simon Says’. Unfortunately for Monch, he was sued over one of the track’s samples, and since then, despite a few quality releases, has failed to really make an impact on the scene. Now promoting his forthcoming album PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) – due for release April 15 on his own ‘indie’ label W.A.R. Media – Monch visited Southampton, to make sure Roxx was ready to get the f*ck up.
Not being able to regularly break the mass market or become a public figurehead of the genre, Monch has been left a humble man. The rapper recalled stories of meeting Busta Rhymes (complete with hilarious incomprehensible impersonation) and the advice he’d given, alongside his own tribute to J Dilla: a performance of the legend’s version of ‘F*ck The Police’. Later came yet more shout outs, with Monch repping Alchemist for the beat to ‘Desire’ and sending out a heartfelt R.I.P. to the late, great Nate Dogg, before launching into Mos Def’s ‘Oh No’, which originally featured Monch’s own vocals alongside that of the deceased.
Monch’s own brand of hip-hop is all about crowd participation, from the massive hook of the afore mentioned ‘Simon Says’, to the angry repetitiveness of ‘Fuck You’; even new single ‘Bad MF’ (which sounds decidedly better live) is written to get the audience off their backsides and yelling at the top of their lungs.
With his ability to write such crude but effective, sing-a-long stompers, it’s a wonder how Monch hasn’t made more of a name for himself. There is an argument of course that going ‘indie’ has had a negative impact, but unless aiming for the ego-inflating heights of Kanye West or Lil Wayne, the majority of successful rappers don’t need a ‘major’. Then again, not everybody needs mainstream recognition to be happy, and after his performance at Roxx, it is clear Pharoahe Monch is content to simply raise some hands and the roof along with them.
More acts have been confirmed for the premier edition of London’s Jabberwocky festival in London, a two day festival curated by ATP, Pitchfork and Primavera.
In addition to James Blake being announced as their second headliner alongside Neutral Milk Hotel other acts announced included Darkside, Sun Kil Moon, Thee Oh Sees, Perfect Pussy, Forest Swords and The Bugs.
Taking place at London’s ExCel Centre from 15-16 August, the festival will also feature performances from Caribou, Deafhaven, Electric Wizard, Earth, Metz and Iceage.
Tickets are on sale now from this location
With a 220,000 strong fan base, you can release just about anything you like and someone’s going to love it. If you’re new to Bayside, Cult is a great album to come in on. 14 years into their career, the New York rock group have managed to dabble in almost every rock genre to come from the US. Today their sound is a nostalgic halfway between New Found Glory and My Chemical Romance.
Cult, Bayside’s sixth studio album, has almost flawless continuity; the album flows smoothly from track to track, cover to cover. With the exception of the first track ‘Big Cheese’, which features some horribly screechy vocals, the album is strong as f*ck. Bayside have managed to write one of those albums that feel familiar and natural to listen to. There’s no awkward small talk, you don’t need to get acquainted. Cult is your friend straight away.
You’re going to be tapping your foot within ten seconds of the intro of the first song kicking in. Bayside here take 11 tracks to walk you through what it’s like when adolescence meets maturity. Sometimes that means that the album is sincere and thoughtful, and at others it’s just childish fun. It’s definitely going to speak to a lot of people on a lot of different levels.
Somewhere around the middle this album slips into a coma of groggy lifelessness. Given how much impact the first half had, the latter is dismally boring. Pure album tracks. They close even stronger than they start, the final song on the album ‘The Whitest Lie’ is at least as comfortable as the first half of the album. Bayside rescued the album with that last track.
Cult is brought to life by tracks like ‘Time Has Come’ and them brought back down to earth by a couple like ‘Something’s Wrong’. Cult is definitely a good time for you to get into Bayside, whilst also being one for the fans. If only it didn’t lose it’s flavour by the middle.
American actor Jay Baruchel made a surprise appearance, joining English metalcore band Bring Me the Horizon onstage last night in Montreal, Canada.
The actor best known for films How to train Your Dragon, Knocked Up, Tropic Thunder, and This Is the End, jumped on stage during the song ‘Antivist’.
Baruchel commented on the experience on his official Twitter account:
“Massive, heartfelt thank you to @bmthofficial for their hospitality, letting me be a groupie all day and allowing me to ruin their set. This was a once in a life time experience. Cheers lads.”
BMTH are currently on their ‘The American Dream Tour’ with Of Mice and Men as the support act. They’re headlining London Wembley Arena on December 5th.
You can see the performance with Baruchel on the video below
The second night of the latest Raygun & Release run at Roxx saw a multi-genre showcase, to promote Bulgaria’s Horizon Festival, which takes place March 8-14. Offering up a little bit of everything electronic, the line-up saw DJs from across the country cover everything from house to drum ‘n’ bass. Topping the bill was the master of chilled out Bristolian dubstep, Phaeleh, alongside noisy, young upstart DJ Barely Legal, and special guest Foreign Concept.
Of the headliners, first up was DJ Barely Legal. Contrary to her name (and appearance), this fresh-faced selector is in fact now 21; she’s only been Djing since 2009, but has made an instant impact with her special blend of garage, grime and dubstep. Her genre-jumping made for an energetic experience, the highlight of which was the ludicrously heavy instrumental from Dizzee Rascal’s ‘I Luv U’.
Next up, Phaeleh brought his trademark, celestial dubstep to the decks. Packed full of fan favourites such as the 2010 hit ‘Afterglow’, plus ‘In The Twilight’ and ‘Should Be True’ from The Cold In You EP, his set was never going to disappoint. The relaxed vibe was a shock to the system after the hype of Barely’s beats, and felt a bit out of place for a primetime slot, but the dance floor remained packed from start to finish.
The rest of the night belonged to drum ‘n’ bass. Organisers Gerra & Stone, delivered a stand out performance, stealing the night with their junglistic selection; before Foreign Concept closed off the event with the choicest cuts from the current d ‘n’ b spectrum, including the charity remix of his collaboration with Stray – ‘Bang It (Amen Bang Out VIP)’. Mixed nights can often lose some of their impact, as catering for everyone tends to dilute the individual effect of each genre. However, with the right DJs this isn’t a problem, and the Horizon launch certainly had the right DJs. The placement of Phaeleh’s set did mean that energy levels lulled in the middle of the night, however as a headliner and well-respected producer it was really his by right. Both DJ Barely Legal and Gerra & Stone shone on stage, and with performances like that, their phones should be ringing off the hook.
Tonight, Bournemouth’s O2 academy was bursting with excitement for the sell-out gig from Manchester based four piece, The 1975.
First openers Wolf Alice delivered a set filled with hard-hitting drumbeats and psychedelic guitar rhythms; despite being unfortunately cut short by technical issues, the North London alternative indie band did not fail to impress leaving the audience stunned by Ellie Roswell’s vocals in particular.
Genre crossing ensemble, The Neighbourhood made their entrance afterward with blaring strobe lights and more intense production than the previous. Providing an evocative mix of rock elements with R&B and hip-hop aesthetics, the Californian group know how to keep a crowd transfixed. ‘Sweater Weather’ made trendy through social networking site Tumblr received a worthy reception, as well as their other catchy tracks ‘Female Robbery’, ‘Afraid’ and ‘WDYWFM.’
The stage filled with smoke; ambient sounds were booming from the speakers, strobe lights flashed round the room jam-packed with screaming girls and on walk The 1975. Playing in front of a simple backdrop in every day-like clothes with a levelheaded attitude, fame has not changed this group of boys from Cheshire. Opening their set with ‘The City’, squeals from fourteen-year-old girls were expected after the single received big love from pop’s hottest, Harry Styles via Twitter earlier last year.
Sipping at a bottle of wine, frontman and guitarist Matt Healy declares his love for Bournemouth, as it’s the first time they’ve ever played the Academy. Hammering out the first half of their set with pop-like choruses diversified with beguiling guitars and soft drums with fan favourites such as ‘Settle Down’, ‘Girls’ and ‘Heart Out’ sent the fans into frenzy. “You need to look after yourselves, every one’s being sick and getting kicked out” Healy proclaimed before the set itself ‘settles down’ into quieter, more hypnotising ambient instruments and vocals alike on tracks such as ‘You’, ‘Me’ and ‘Menswear.’
The band disappeared before chants of “we want more” mostly from females, echoed round the venue. Back to the stage again appearing rather coy, the quartet closed the set with ‘Chocolate’ and ‘Sex’ the two better-known singles featured on the self-titled album. The room went black, the band departed and it felt like being alive on Valentines Day was worth it.