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Preview: Glastonbury 2010

 
By on Friday, 23rd April 2010 at 12:00 pm
 

Surely I don’t need to explain to you what Glastonbury is – it’s simply LEGENDARY. Even as an American (though, admittedly, an Anglophile), every year I drool over the lineup, despair at not being able to attend and then scour the internet for pictures and videos when it’s over. Each summer, the enormous site at Worthy Farm (about a mile and a half in diameter) turns into a mini-city for the  largest greenfield festival in the world. Since the first Glasto was held 40 years ago in 1970, the festival has come to be known for its truly amazing lineup, and this year is no different.

One of the perks of being the biggest festival around is that you can get the biggest artists around. This year, the Pyramid Stage will be graced by some of the most recognizable names in music. On Friday night, Irish rockers U2 are headlining, with support from Dizzee Rascal, Vampire Weekend, Snoop Dogg, Willie Nelson, and Corinne Bailey Rae. Saturday night sees headliner MUSE share the stage with the likes of Scissor Sisters, Shakira and Jackson Browne. And on the final night, legend Stevie Wonder tops the bill, closing out the festival after performances from Paloma Faith, Norah Jones, Jack Johnson and guitar legend Slash.

But it’s not only the main stage that’s worth visiting. Punters will get quite a workout running between that and the other 12 stages, of which the Other Stage, the John Peel Stage and the Park Stage look the most promising. Over the course of the weekend, the Other Stage lineup reads like the index page of NME: The Flaming Lips, Florence and the Machine, La Roux, Hot Chip, Phoenix, the Courteeners, the Cribs, Kate Nash, Editors, Two Door Cinema Club, LCD Soundsystem, MGMT, We Are Scientists, Temper Trap, the Hold Steady and more.

Originally called the “New Bands Tent,” the John Peel Stage features a mix of old and new favourites. Friday night sees Groove Armada share the stage with the likes of Mumford & Sons, Ellie Goulding and Bombay Bicycle Club. Saturday night is jam-packed with bands we’ve featured here on TGTF, like the xx, Foals, Marina and the Diamonds, Delphic, Wild Beasts and Field Music. And Sunday night remains epic with sets by Ash, Julian Casablancas and the Drums.

All the way across the site, the Park Stage will play host to buzz bands like the xx, Broken Bells, the Big Pink, Midlake, Laura Marling, Stornoway, Beach House, Frankie & the Heartstrings and Dirty Projectors, ending with a headlining set by Australian electronic duo Empire of the Sun on Sunday night. And at the risk of making your heads explode by listing even more bands, at the other stages festival-goers will be treated to performances by Mos Def, Phenomenal Handclap Band, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Turin Brakes, Imelda May, DJ Fatboy Slim, Crystal Castles, Good Shoes, Fanfarlo and Dan le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip.

If you’re not already overwhelmed by the sheer massiveness of the festival, then you can click here to view the complete lineup. But if you don’t already have tickets for the sold out spectacular, then be warned, it will turn you green with envy.

Glastonbury 2010 is completely SOLD OUT. It will be held from Wednesday, 23rd June to Sunday, 27th June 2010 at Worthy Farm, Pilton.

 

Video of the Moment #238: Hot Chip

 
By on Thursday, 18th March 2010 at 6:00 pm
 

If you’re a fan of electropop and NOT a fan of JLS, then you’ll love Hot Chip‘s hilarious new video for ‘I Feel Better.’ The video takes place at a gig for a boy band that looks an awful lot like JLS, and is pretty straightforward until a man in a white robe floats in and starts shooting lasers from his mouth…don’t ask me to explain, I don’t get it either. I’m not usually a fan of music videos that put sound effects over the song, but it works in this case. Directed by actor/comedian Peter Serafinowicz, it’s as entertaining as it is random. Check it out below:

[myspace]http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=103630659[/myspace]

‘I Feel Better’ is the second single from Hot Chip’s latest album, ‘One Life Stand.’ Check out Mary’s review of the album here.

 

Album Review: Hot Chip – One Life Stand

 
By on Tuesday, 12th January 2010 at 2:00 pm
 

If one were to make a list of essential Noughties’s dance tracks, a tune that would undoubtedly spring to mind would be ‘Over and Over’ by Hot Chip. But now is not the time to be nostalgic. This is 2010 – a new decade, and with it comes a brand spanking new album from the electropop band that got everyone ‘Ready for the Floor’. In the mid-Noughties, dance tracks were the last thing I was looking for; I was hunting for the next big rock group, listening to the debut album of some band called the Killers for more insight. But who would have guessed that in just a few years’ time the music landscape would change so much. We now have the likes of Lady Gaga, Delphic, La Roux, and countless others in the synth-driven onslaught of the dance scene all fighting for the attention of clubgoers, as well as the return of older acts like Pet Shop Boys coming back into the fold. So is Hot Chip still the pioneering force it once was? From my first impression of ‘One Life Stand’ this is unclear but for sure, their latest is for the most part a good ride.

As we are in the midst of a very snowy winter both on the East Coast of America and in much of Britain, I’ve decided that the album is the musical equivalent of a downhill skiing course. Thanks to the ski lift, you’ve arrived at the top. You stand there in your skiing kit and gaze down at the majesty that awaits you, flush with anticipation, ready to get started down that hill. Track 1, ‘Thieves in the Night’, is a promising start, with the lilting refrain of “happiness is all that we want.” These are exactly the kind of words you want to hear in a club, when you’ve already become drunk by the multi-coloured spectacle that is a good dance scene. (Well, at least I do.) The song feels so disco, it could have been written for Donna Summer. Indeed, throughout the album you are left wondering why Joe Goddard and Alexis Taylor aren’t tapped by other artists more often for their songwriting skills.

With its Motown-inflected piano and drumming effects, ‘Hand Me Down Your Love’ is next, the unexpected turn that you negotiate as you make your way downhill. You can almost hear Annie Lennox or Aretha Franklin laying down the vocals in some future reinterpretation of the soulful lyrics. It’s good but it isn’t particularly exciting and can feel a bit monotonous. Incidentally, it should be noted here that every song on the album clocks in at over 4 minutes and as a result, each feels drawn out with the danger of losing its punch.

The minor synths of ‘I Feel Better’ pick things back up a bit, adding a bit of drama. It’s the icy chill that grazes your face, invigorating you and making you wonder what’s coming next. Hot Chip has called this “a big commercial song that came out of nowhere”. When the album drops next month, I’m curious if any of you reading his agree with this assessment. We pick up some speed on the title track ‘One Life Stand’, a tune I absolutely adore. The first time I heard the single on BBC 6music, I could have sworn the words in the chorus were “I only want to be your one night stand.” I wanted to scream, “what? My brothers Hot Chip, that doesn’t make any sense to a girl at all!” Upon repeated listenings I realised it was actually “I only want to be your one life stand / tell me do you stand by your whole man?” The song itself may not be particularly innovative, but with lyrics like “moments that keep us guessing / and lead us from temptation / but better to embrace them / and measure our relation” – wow. Who really needs innovation if you’re got a killer dance tune about love?

The three middle tracks – ‘Brothers’, ‘Slush’, and ‘Alley Cats’ – are anticlimactic, feeling like a particularly drab, flat patch of snow on the trail. ‘Brothers’ sounds too Alan Parsons Project, and the other two could have been mistaken as songs from Miike Snow (and if I want to hear Miike Snow, I’ll cue up their record, not this one). Don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate their attempt at breaking up what might have become a continuous stream of dance songs (nothing wrong with that). But by this time even some hardcore Hot Chip fans will have skipped over to the last third of the album, unless you happen to be someone who has taken a shine to ‘Alley Cats’ because the band has been playing it on tour the last 2 years or ‘In the Privacy of Our Love’ is your favourite Hot Chip track, ever.

Thankfully, ‘We Have Love’ and ‘Take It In’ to rescue the album from the drabness, getting the blood pumping through your veins again as you head for the finish line. I’ve found that most albums soar to magnificent heights when I’m given the opportunity to absorb the songs head-on live. Perhaps when Hot Chip tours this year in support of the new album, these new songs will be heard and appreciated in a completely different light. I’m looking forward to finding out when Hot Chip plays a handful of dates across America in April.

6/10

Hot Chip’s fourth album ‘One Life Stand’ will be released in regular CD and expanded CD+DVD formats in the UK on 1 February and in America on 9 February. The band will be on tour in the UK in February.

 

In the Post #42: Hot Chip – One Life Stand

 
By on Friday, 11th December 2009 at 12:00 pm
 

Hot Chip (album cover)Electro-pop pioneers, Hot Chip, will be returning to your radios next February with their forthcoming, er, forth album, One Life Stand. There Goes The Fear were recently sent the first single from said album of the same name. I suppose you are wondering, is it ready, is it ready for the floor?

Well, yes, yes it is. I mean come on, I think it’s now fact that Hot Chip are completely incapable of producing a song that isn’t at least a little infectious. The combination of synthetically growling zigzag synths and seamless, tap tap tap drum machine, is a hands-down winning formula at inducing indie dance movement. The reverb vocals evident among the trance-like chorus throw in a nice dash of melancholic modern-day electro ala Delphic. But, honestly, One Life Stand is not particularly innovative in comparison to the recent digital pop of said Manc lads, or, say, Everything Everything. Hot Chip are choosing to stick to their nostalgic guns, and I suppose you can’t blame them, being nominated for all those Grammys and all. But, really, this song would have quite happily slipped on their 2006 album, The Warning or 2008’s Made in the Dark. You know, while being super catchy, it’s just not all that exciting, and I would have liked to have heard something a little more interesting from the London synth quintet this 2010.

Watch the video to ‘One Life Stand’ below, and tell us what you think.
[myspace]http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=101286758[/myspace]

 

Hot Chip / February 2010 UK Tour

 
By on Monday, 2nd November 2009 at 11:49 pm
 

Hot Chip have announced a string of tour dates for February 2010.

Tickets for all dates below go on sale at 10am on Friday (6th November) reportedly. Catch the guys at:

Friday 12th February 2010 – Glasgow O2 Academy
Saturday 13th February 2010 – Edinburgh Picture House
Monday 15th February 2010 – Nottingham Rock City
Tuesday 16th February 2010 – Leeds O2 Academy
Thursday 18th February 2010 – Newcastle O2 Academy
Friday 19th February 2010 – Manchester Academy
Saturday 20th February 2010 – Birmingham O2 Academy
Monday 22nd February 2010 – Bournemouth O2 Academy
Tuesday 23rd February 2010 – Bristol O2 Academy
Wednesday 24th February 2010 – Norwich UEA
Friday 26th February 2010 – London O2 Brixton Academy
Saturday 27th February 2010 – London O2 Brixton Academy

 

Bands to Watch #63: Little Boots

 
By on Monday, 5th January 2009 at 1:19 pm
 

Little BootsDisco queen, Victoria Hesketh, better known as Little Boots, is rapidly taking the music scene by storm with her sweet electro beats. She’s been labelled the British Kylie and Little Boots’ synth-based pop is certainly a Minogue chart contender.

Born in Blackpool, Hesketh has quite a colourful music past. She’s been a Pop Idol contestant, a former member of dance band Dead Disco and has recently blagged Joe Goddard of Hot Chip as her new musical producer. In fact Joe – who’s personal hits include Over and Over and and Ready For The Floors – is so fond of Little Boots that he’s hailed Victoria as the future of British pop. Quite a claim – but it’s certainly a worthy one. Little Boots has expressed her love for current chart pop, such as Sugababes and Girls Aloud, but she believes her music is injected with more personality. And Victoria certainly is a glittery character.

A particularly exciting thing about Little Boots is her use of a range of mystical instruments when creating her sparkly sounds – including the Dubreq Stylophone, made popular by the genius that is Rolf Harris, and a Tenori-O, a super cool LED switch based invention allowing for the creation of “visible music”. Check out Little Boots acclaimed kooky performance using said instruments, on Jools Holland, below:

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktYM10hkVlo]

Little Boots is yet to release an album, although one is pretty much guaranteed out this year thanks to the critical acclaim she is currently lapping up – including a BBC Sound of 2009 nomination. In the meantime though, never fear, as you can purchase her digital, 3 track EP over at Amazon now for just £1.69.The EP includes the track you just saw Victoria performing, Meddle, and 2 other tunes – Stuck on Repeat and Love Kills. If you want to learn more about Little Boots in general, check out her MySpace here

 
 
 

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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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