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Preview: The 51st Grammy Awards

 
By on Sunday, 8th February 2009 at 8:07 pm
 

RadioheadIt’s that time of year again, readers, when the who’s who in music gather together at the Staples Centre, in Los Angeles, to celebrate the world famous ceremony that is the Grammy Awards. This year’s bash has been a particular success for British artists. Home-bred talent such as Coldplay (pictured top), Radiohead (pictured right), Duffy, Leona Lewis and Led Zepplin’s Robert Plant are all up for coveted gongs ranging from ‘Album of the Year’ to ‘Best New Artist’. Brits performing at the awards include Adele, Paul McCartney, Estelle and M.I.A – who has riskily decided to go on with the show despite the fact her baby is due that very night!

Further performances come from Rihanna, Stevie Wonder, Katy Perry, Jonas Brothers, U2 and even a potential surprise appearance from Green Day. The band have hinted on their website, that they may be showing at this year’s awards despite a near 5 year hiatus since releasing hit-album, American Idiot.

The nominees and consequent winners of the gongs’ are decided by a board of around 10000 members made up of artists, songwriters, producers and music engineers. American rapper, Lil Wayne, is the artist to receive the greatest amount of nominations this year, claiming a cool eight nods. Jay-Z, Kanye West, John Mayer, The Eagles and Metallica are other name’s that will be featuring across a significant array of awards tonight. Meanwhile, Neil Diamond is set to be awarded the acclaimed MusiCares Person of the Year title, which aims to recognise those who have made both an outstanding contribution to music as well as charity-work. Previous winners of the award include Bono, Sting and Aretha Franklin.

Catch all the Grammy action tomorrow night (Monday 9th), at 9pm on ITV2.

 

The Brit Awards 2009 – The Nominations

 
By on Monday, 26th January 2009 at 4:42 pm
 

Coldplay's new album cover

Ahh…The Brits. Perhaps more famous for Jarvis Cocker’s stage invasion, or Arctic Monkey‘s drunken speeches rather than for it’s showcasing of the best of British music. Either way, every year it certainly proves an interesting watch and this 2009, the controversial show will be presented by disco diva, Kylie Minogue and Gavin and Stacey stars, Mathew Horne and James Corden. There will be performances from Kings of Leon, U2 and Take That to name but a few. You can catch all the action live on ITV1 on February 18th, but if you can’t wait till then, There Goes The Fear is here to tell you about the successful nominees that were announced earlier this week.

The artists leading the way with the highest amount of nominations this year are Welsh songstress, Duffy and Coldplay – both tallying up a total of four nods. Both artists had number 1 albums last year – Duffy with ‘Rockferry‘ and Coldplay with ‘Viva la Vida‘ (pictured right) – so are unsurprisingly up for Mastercard’s Best British Album alongside Elbow, Radiohead and The Ting Tings. Duffy’s ‘Mercy’ and Coldplay’s ‘Viva la Vida’ will also be going head to head in Best British Single category alongside the likes of Estelle‘s ‘American Boy’, Adele with ‘Chasing Pavements’ and the X Factor Finalists’ ‘Hero’.

Duffy also features in the Best British Female Solo Artist category alongside Adele, Beth Rowley, Estelle and MIA, while the nominees in male counterpart include Ian Brown, James Morrison, Paul Weller, Streets and Will Young. Best British Group has seen the nomination of the ever-popular Coldplay, Elbow, Radiohead, Take That and Girls Aloud.

New music recieving nods in this year’s Best British Breakthrough Act include Last Shadow Puppets and Scouting For Girls, while 2009’s Best British Live Act showcases everyone from Iron Maiden and The Verve, to Elbow.

Singer-songwriter, Florence and the Machine (who we featured here), is tracing the footsteps of 2008 winner Adele through gaining the coveted Critics Choice Award which recognises upcoming music talent. Meanwhile, Pet Shop Boys have been intriguingly awarded the Outstanding Contribution Award, following on from Beatle Sir Paul McCartney’s win last year.

Band’s receiving nods in the international categories including Best International Group and Best International Album are Kings of Leon, The Killers, AC/DC, MGMT and Fleet Foxes. Solo artists featuring in the categories honouring oversea talent include Katy Perry, Gabriella Cilmi, Seasick Steve, Beck and Kanye West.

To see the nominations in full, check out the official Brits website.

 

Vodafone Live Music Awards 2008 / This Thursday

 
By on Monday, 15th September 2008 at 7:28 pm
 

Corporate music awards shows ahoy! The Vodafone Live Music Awards 2008 takes place this Thursday at London’s Brixton Academy, then shows on 4Music this Friday 19th September at 9pm and on Channel 4 on Saturday at 10am and 11:25pm.

This years awards looks set to be the best in the 3 years the awards have been running – Primal Scream, Glasvegas, James Morrison, Will Young, Estelle and The Ting Tings are all going to be performing live, along with one more mystery guest.

Presenting will be the (rather bizarre) mix of Steve Jones and Juliette Lewis, along with guest presenters including Mark Ronson, Kelly Rowland, Andrew Flintoff, Keith Lemon, Dave Berry and Nicholas Hoult.

Voting is now closed, but let’s just hope Amy Winehouse doesn’t win best female, and that Kaisers don’t win best live act.

If you’re home alone this Friday or Saturday night why not tune in for one of the last of this year’s major awards ceremonies?

Photo is taken from Scott Roberts’ flickr stream under the creative commons license.

After the jump: Full list of awards and nominations
Continue reading Vodafone Live Music Awards 2008 / This Thursday

 

Daily Roundup: Tuesday 9th September

 
By on Tuesday, 9th September 2008 at 9:35 pm
 

Just a quick one tonight, as I’m plain and simply cream crackered at the moment – working 30-40 hours a week and then going to a gig or so a week and the usual pub evenings is pretty hard work… (boy, it’s a hard life, no?)

Bloc Party did another one of their suprises last night, announcing the release of Talons, their second single, and one that wasn’t on Intimacy, but will be on the physical release in October. In short, it’s pretty darned amazing, as with all of their Intimacy era stuff. A bit 80’s rock, a bit dark and murky, but ultimately good. I’m not posting the MP3 as I think it’s just asking for me to get (another) cease and desist, but I’m sure those of you in the know can get a copy for free.

Of course tonight is also the Mercury music prize, with my money firmly on Laura Marling to win, though I doubt the judges will choose her, probably sticking to a safer bet like Radiohead, Elbow or Last Shadow Puppets. If Adele or Estelle wins I won’t be a happy bunny though – they’re good, but not Mercury material.

There are still some reviews of Hydro Connect coming in, almost 10 days after the event, and just make me yearn for Scotland again. Only about 50 weeks now until Hydro 2009, eh? Rock Sellout have put up a guest blog from the festival, along with a better (and more indepth) interview with Rab from Glasvegas than we did.

Meanwhile, Mike over at Chromewaves caught this weekend’s Virgin Festival in Toronto, with Bloc Party, Kooks, Fratellis and more. I’ll be checking out some of the smaller (and larger) bands I haven’t heard of when I actually have a day off.

 

Album Review: Estelle’s Shine

 
By on Thursday, 14th August 2008 at 7:32 pm
 

Estelle is back with her second album following her 18th Day LP which had a lack lustre receipt from fans, crawling to number 35 in the charts. With time in the USA and the nestling under the wing of the neo-soul-serenading John Legend she presents a record that has a lot to boast in the way of features and power-house producers such as Will.I.Am and Wyclef Jean. Unfortunately a move in this direction begs the question, does their potent presence highlight an incapability within the star herself?

Perhaps it was under the advice of Legend that such a move was made, but she confidently silences her critics with the explosion of her first track ‘Wait a minute (No Substitute)’. Despite the fact that this track didn’t even make the top 100, its sound is a sweet reminder of Estelle’s clear capabilities to handle herself on a track, comfortably rhyming over the horns, as well as lacing some softer tones with her singing throughout the chorus and closing.

She follows this with ‘No Substitute’ where the heavy bass lines compliment her sweeter side as she strums her lyrics over the claps and beats produced by Wyclef Jean with a sassy sample from none other than George Michael’s Faith. She continues her roll with the smash hit American Boy, a guest appearance from Kanye West, helped catapult this track to world domination. Making use of his typically predictable simple Simon lyrical style with its slow purposeful drawl delivered over a club banger beat made this a highlight of the album.

Once you’ve completed the first quarter of listening it is nice to note Estelle’s ability to croon comfortably between the genres. Venturing into neo soul territory appeared to be an effortless manoeuvre for her, as does the intricately lacing of rhythmic rhymes that remind her listeners of her West London roots. These not only force a smile but possibly invite a nod of approval for those that thought her trip to the states would have introduced an unfamiliar and unwanted accent.

Kardinal Offishal makes an appearance on Magnificent and invites listeners to turn the lights down a notch or two as we seemingly head into the more intimate part of the album. If your other half is with you when this song comes on its time to throw a scarf over the lamp, jump up and slow grind or two step, whatever your rhythm this song will cater to it, even in the absence of a dance partner, cup your slow ice melting drink, close your eyes and do the shoe shuffle with a happy hazy smile on your face and all is well.

Unfortunately if you’ve been sipping on your juice, Come Over may soothe your senses into a sleepy state, not necessarily a good thing if you want to listen to the rest of the album. By the time you reach this point in the album it is hard to ignore the Lauryn Hill similarities, her ability to shimmy between a lyricist and songtress with such ease is inspiring and somewhat infuriating, is it really fair to house all this talent in one frame?

Had Estelle stepped up as a neo soul artist then perhaps the slow soul filled jams would be recognised as the powerfully personality infused tracks they are, however on the back of American Boy and the song’s presentation of one of her dimensions there is a strong chance many will feel the album takes the ‘wrong’ turn at Come Over and that is struggles to regain its ‘oomph’, even the Motown influenced track Pretty Please(Love Me) with powerful input from Cee-Lo and some nice piano playing from Legend himself this song may come a little too late for those that expected an entire album of floor and rump shaking tracks.

I love how her final track acts as a wake-up call for her listeners who may have lulled into a dreamy daze compliments of the numerous mellow melodies. Shine may prove to be one of the favourites on this album, mainly because of the way it reminds her audience of all that she is, her un-dillutable London sound as well as her refusal to be compartmentalised into any one genre. All in all the album has a little something for everyone, jazz listeners, soul-sound chasers and the hip-hop hungry will find something to bob their head to on this CD.

Copyright © Onome Okwuosa 2008. All rights reserved.

 

Estelle / June UK Tour

 
By on Tuesday, 8th April 2008 at 12:29 pm
 

EstelleWhilst not exactly my sort of thing, rising star Estelle has announced a string of UK dates for June.

Tickets aren’t on sale yet, but go on sale on Friday at 9am I believe. Catch her at:

Saturday 8th June – Manchester Ritz
Sunday 9th June – Glasgow ABC
Monday 10th June – Birmingham Custard Factory
Wednesday 12th June – London Shepherds Bush Empire

 
 
 

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