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The BRIT Awards 2010 – The Nominations

 
By on Thursday, 21st January 2010 at 4:00 pm
 

Brace yourself, readers, for it’s swiftly approaching that time of year again, when hoards of fans and paparazzi line the red carpet-laden entrance to Earls Court in order to catch the biggest stars in music attending the annual spectacle that is the BRIT Awards. Admittedly, last year’s ceremony was an absolute flop, fronted by the drab ‘comedic’ duo that were Mathew Horne and James Corden. But still, it always proves interesting fun watching a half-cut Alex Turner tumbling round making sarcastic speeches to Kate Nash. So let’s check out the recently announced nominations for 2010, to see what could possibly be in store for ITV’s censor button this year.

Pixie Lott, Lily Allen, Leona Lewis, Florence and the Machine (pictured right) and Bat for Lashes will all be competing for ‘Best Female Solo Artist’ award this year. The contrastingly XY chromosome category that is ‘Best Male Solo Artist’, meanwhile, features the ‘superstars’ that are Calvin Harris, Dizzee Rascal, Paolo Nutini, Mika and Robbie Williams (pictured above), who will also be receiving, rather intriguingly, the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Music’ gong on the night.

Doves, Kasabian, Muse, Friendly Fires (pictured left), and, er, JLS, are all up for ‘Best Group’, while the latter two will also feature in ‘Best Breakthrough Act’ category, alongside Florence and the Machine, Pixie Lott and La Roux. One of the more decent moments of the night, however, will go to TGTF favourite Ellie Goulding, who will be receiving a coveted nod from the half-decent ‘Critics Choice’ award for her soon-to-be-huge electropop.

But that’s not all! Dizzee Rascal, Lily Allen, Paolo Nutini, Florence and the Machine and Kasabian are all going head to head for the ‘Best Album’ gong, while Alexandre Burke, Taio Cruz, Tinchy Stryder, Cheryl Cole and wasn’t-Christmas-number-boy Joe McElderry and his track ‘The Climb’ feature among others in the ‘Best Single’ category.

But it’s not all about the Brits, oh no, with Lady Gaga, Shakira, Ladyhawke, Norah Jones and Rihanna all up for ‘Best International Female Solo Artist’, and Bruce Springsteen, Eminem, Jay-Z, Michael Buble and Seasick Steve competing for the male variant. Animal Collective, Daniel Merriweather, Empire of the Sun, Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift have all been put forward for ‘Best International Breakthrough Artist’, and some of these names pop up once again in the ‘Best International Album’ category, with Animal Collective, Empire of the Sun, Lady Gaga as well as Jay-Z and Black Eyed Peas competing for said prize.

So, as you can see, a typical lack of music talent across the board as usual, but hey, the BRITs wouldn’t be the BRITs without it. You can catch a repeat of the nomination ceremony on Saturday 23rd January at 3.55 PM on ITV2. The BRIT winners will be announced on Tuesday 16th February, and the show will be broadcast live on ITV. Jay-Z, Cheryl Cole and Lily Allen are among the artists scheduled to perform.

Full list of nominees are available after the jump.
Continue reading The BRIT Awards 2010 – The Nominations

 

Bands to Watch #159: Chapel Club

 
By on Thursday, 21st January 2010 at 12:00 pm
 

Last year saw the resurgence of indie gloom as the brilliant White Lies stampeded onto the musical circuit with their melancholic mass of an album, ‘To Lose My Life’. Today, we’d like to introduce Chapel Club, a super hip quintet similarly embracing said glum side of the guitar (yet contrastingly distancing themselves from the completely unavoidable White Lies comparisons, I’m quite sure).

Chapel Club basically consist of the following elements : epic drums, scuzzy guitars, Peter Hook bass lines (Factory Records would have certainly considered pressing this lot had they existed back in 1980) and haunting vox spouting tragic lyrics of love like a young Scott Walker. Yes, there is an undoubted air of pretentiousness hovering around this upcoming quintet, with ‘Machine Music’ ending in a spoken word recital, and founder Michael Hibbert claiming to derive influence from “vintage natural history illustrations and stop-motion film shorts”, but hey, at least their misty music is pretty damn great. So, if you like your Harry McVeighs, and you like your Chapman Familys, I recommend you hit Chapel Club’s MySpace page to hear more.

While you’re here, check out the official video to ‘O Maybe I’, below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6Vfjjwgv6c[/youtube]

 

Royal Mail Go Rock ‘n’ Roll

 
By on Thursday, 14th January 2010 at 10:00 am
 

Royal Mail have gone all rock ‘n’ roll on us this new year and have just released a collection of 10 special stamps, each which feature a classic album cover. The final designs were nailed down by Royal Mail after intense musical research and have even been given the nod of approval by the Queen of England herself. The set of stamps showcase some of the greatest British records of the last forty years, and while there has been some controversy over the selections (Where’s ‘Dark Side of the Moon’? Apparently, it was “too black.” And erm, no Oasis?), the pretty impressive ten which did make the collection are:

The Rolling Stones – ‘Let it Bleed’

Mike Oldfield – ‘Tubular Bells’

David Bowie – ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars’

The Clash – ‘London Calling’

Pink Floyd – ‘The Division Bell’

Led Zeppelin – ‘IV’

New Order – ‘Power, Corruption and Lies’

Primal Scream – ‘Screamadelica’

Blur – ‘Parklife’

Coldplay (pictured above) – ‘A Rush of Blood to the Head’

From Delia Smith’s famous cake that appears on the Stones’ ‘Let it Bleed’, to the colour explosion that is 90’s classic ‘Screamadelica’ by Primal Scream, to the infamous image of Paul Simonon smashing his bass on ‘London Calling’, it is certainly a varied, yet well chosen collection, embracing contemporary classics as well as the golden oldies. If that’s not enough, to add a nice touch, a vinyl peeks out the corner of each design, reminding us of the bygone beauty of records.

Led Zep legend Jimmy Page is already a fan of the special edition stamps, appearing at the launch of the collection last week. At the unveiling he spoke of the famous ‘IV’ artwork, claiming, “almost 40 years after the album came out, nobody knows the old man who featured on the cover, nor the artist who painted him.

The Royal Mail rock ‘n’ roll stamps are in official circulation across Britain now, so be sure to get writing those snail mail letters and collect your favourite ones today (hopefully we don’t sound like a cheesy tv ad). Learn more over at Royal Mail’s Web site.

 

Bands to Watch #156: Tiffany Page

 
By on Wednesday, 13th January 2010 at 2:00 pm
 

Tiffany Page received her first guitar on her fourteenth birthday. Around this time, the North London star was revelling in the American alternative rock of Nirvana, Pearl Jam and The Offspring. Nine years ago, in that angst-filled youngsters’ mind, a rock star was spawned. Now aged 23, Page is certainly set on being one of the biggest girls with guitars this year.

Combining the grunge forces of Courtney Love and Shirley Manson with a contemporary side-order of Lissy Trullie, this Fender femme fatale uses electric licks and a Hynde-esque voice to perfection when creating her rebellious serving of rock ‘n’ roll. It’s snappy and it’s snarling; in fact, you can almost picture Page curling her lip as she knocks out riffs with a perfect punk façade.

Tiffany is currently embarking on a humble headline tour throughout January (starting tonight with a free show at the Cavern in Exeter), and will be supporting The Noisettes on the road February onwards. Her debut album is set to be released later this year. To check out gig dates, hear music, and generally learn more about Page, hit her MySpace page. You can watch a rehearsal video of the song ‘Walk Away Slow’ below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBvGCussj_E[/youtube]

 

Bands to Watch #154: Starlings

 
By on Thursday, 7th January 2010 at 12:00 pm
 

Go back 4, 5 years ago and you couldn’t escape the hoards of skinny jeaned teenagers grabbing guitars and kick starting indie bands to echo NME poster-boys such as Arctic Monkeys and The Kooks. Now it would appear all the young dudes are swapping their Strats for synths, and are instead empracing electro pop to it’s soon-to-be-death. The band we’d like to introduce today, Starlings, are a four piece from Sheffield particularly enjoying the more digital sided sounds of things. But, hey, don’t get me wrong, I really do like them!

Starlings formed last Christmas and, between their day jobs as school teachers and solicitors, have managed to knock out a set of truly decent numbers in said short space. Tracks such as the awesome ‘Sirens’ showcase Starlings ability to produce pretty darn epic dancefloor-electronica ala Delphic, while further tunes splashed with heavier wavings of guitars, like ‘Club Scene’, echo the band’s more quirky, alternative sound, ala The Automatic if fronted by Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy.

I must say, it’s always nice to think you’ve caught onto a band before anyone else, and I can’t help but sense TGTF may have picked up on four soon-to-be radio starlets here in the form of Starlings. Seriously, hit the band’s MySpace page to hear more!

 

Album Review: Alphabeat – The Beat Is…

 
By on Wednesday, 6th January 2010 at 2:00 pm
 

Back in 2008, Alphabeat were a chirpy, if not annoying sextet hailing from Denmark who sung about “the word that’s on your lips”, yes, FAS-CI-NA-TION, while appearing on the family-friendly T.V slots of Richard and Judy and Loose Women. Hmm, no, I wasn’t much of a fan of the quirky Danish pop act back then, and admittedly, I wasn’t expecting great things from their upcoming second album, ‘The Beat Is…’, either.

Well, I wouldn’t say I stand corrected, but, let’s just say, I am super surprised by the six pieces’ new record. It would appear that Alphabeat have decided to drop the cutesy pop façade of ’08, and have instead turned to embracing rawer 90’s electronica and dance Eyeball Paul would be beyond proud of. Yes, to be honest, I am really quite impressed by this unexpected change of direction, and Alphabeat undeniably do it with skill, readers.

Think the house beats of Snap! when listening to the super ‘Rhythm is a Dancer’-esque track that is ‘Hole in the Heart’, and the rounded, soulful Thea Austin vocals of ‘Heatwave’. The jagged vocal-cuts of the latter track, along with ‘Always Up With You’ emit a particularly 90’s vibe and would swim perfectly among Ibiza dancefloors overtook by laser lights and misty smoke machines.

Still, this album isn’t all about the era of Saved by the Bell and Pogs – hints of the 80’s, for example, are still audible amid tracks such as ‘DJ’, where frontlady Stine Bramsen starts to sound like a young, ‘Papa Don’t Preach’ era Madonna. ‘Q&A’, meanwhile, may be a little slower paced but, coming along quite late into the album, it’s much appreciated among the previously intense rave synths.

To conclude, ‘The Beat Is…’ is an extremely nostalgic album, successfully harking back to the glory days of Ministry of Sound and Kevin and Perry. Really, Alphabeat take on the genre of dance surprisingly well. I used to dislike this band. I found them sickly sweet, and to be frank, I couldn’t stand their cheesy 3 minute pop gems. Yet, ‘The Beat Is…’ succeeds in breathing a whole new life into Alphabeat. They’ve matured, grown up, and have took on a sector of the electro genre that not many artists are combating at the moment. ‘The Beat Is…’ is different, and oddly, despite it’s 90’s influence, does not discharge a sense of being out-of-date at all.

Watch the official video to ‘The Spell’ (which samples classic 90’s track, ‘Get Serious’ by Cut ‘N’ Move), below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwH0BxtbeEA[/youtube]

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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