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Rock the Vote with the NME Awards: Part 2

By on Thursday, 19th February 2009 at 10:50 am

So it’s that time of year again, the NME awards are fast approaching, the tours almost over, this year Glasvegas and White Lies headlined to bring back post punk, supported by Friendly Fires and Florence. The tour seems to have gone down well, but now all eyes are on the awards, a short week away… I bring you part two of who I think should win…

The Ting TingsBest Track -This award goes straight to MGMT (pictured top). The Ting Tings (pictured right) and Kings of Leon provided us with musical sex with their efforts and Shadow Puppets songwriting was far superior to the other contenders, but on a whole the synth-pop ‘Time to Pretend’ was an instant classic and there’s no question who deserves this the most.

Best Video – Come on! Who doesn’t like seeing a load of wanabee Noel and Liams from around the world?? Of the selection Oasis walk away with the prize. It’s one of the less respected awards but hey, a prize is a prize right.. (NOTE: expect shocking results, last year Justice’s brilliant video for D.A.N.C.E. lost out to the Monkeys studio vid – Teddy Picker, a true WTF moment..)

Best Live EventReading – based on line up alone..

Best TV Show – The Mighty Boosh would seem favourites though they haven’t actually put anything out this year.. Skins would’ve been alright if it was last years series, this year our screens were graced with the same old thing marketed as a ‘new breed.’ It’s getting better though, and Effy being sex-on-legs keeps up watching.. Before I go to far on a tangent, this one is up to whoever…

Best FilmThe Dark Knight. Easily beats the rest, there’s no need to even look at the other contenders..

FoalsBest DVD -This one’s easy too.. the Rolling Stones continue in their pathetic attempt to hold on to their former glory.. washed up and washed out they need to stop trying.. Arctic Monkeys scoop this one, their film actually made it into Vue so it must have done something right, plus it came with an uber trendy free poster..

Best Website -Seeing as we didn’t quite gather enough votes to be in the running, I’ll have to go

Best Band Blog – No Lily Allen?? WTF! If we have to chose from the rest then Foals (pictured left)with the tour shenanigans and free downloads walk away with this one..

Best Album ArtworkThe Killers

Best Dancefloor FillerDizzee & Calvin

Best VenueAstoria

Hero of the  Year – Let’s say Obama, purely because I think he’s a sincere guy, though if he screws up don’t point to this as us jumping on the badwagon..

Villain of the YearJohn McCain, not because he ran against our hero, but because he’s a stupid bible bashing  idiot.. the man is a grade A fool and was better off out of the race in my much insignificant opinion.. he’s an absolute twat, and the most deserving wanker for this award.. (Where is Boris Johnson?? the man’s a tool, and now I can’t drink on the tube – not that I (or anyone else) ever did…)

Best DressedNoel Feilding.. Sorry Alexa .x.

Worst DressedJohhny Borell – purely because he needs to be given an award with ‘worst’ at the front..

Worst AlbumJonas Brothers, I don’t even have to listen to it, these guys are a disgrace to music and need to take their disney-emo-wankshit and flush it down the corporate toilet, we can’t wait to see these guys crash’n’burn..

Worst Band -We’re spoilt for choice, do we chose the ‘gender-confused-but-not-enough-balls-to-become-a-tranny’ Tokio Hotel, emo-pin ups Fall Out Boy or the revolting Jonas Bros. it’s up to which one makes you churn the most..

Sexiest Man – In my heterosexual opinion – Miles Kane..

Sexiest Woman – Tbh I’m not a fan of any of them.. some of them (no names) look too much like men to do anything for me..

The NME awards are around the corner, if you want to have your say head on over to the nominations page and cast your votes now! Voting closes at 4pm today (19th February)


Rock the Vote with the NME Awards: Part 1

By on Wednesday, 18th February 2009 at 7:38 pm

So it’s that time of year again, the NME awards are fast approaching, the tours almost over, this year Glasvegas and White Lies headlined to bring back post punk, supported by Friendly Fires and Florence. The tour seems to have gone down well, but now all eyes are on the awards, a short week away… I bring you who I think should win…

Best British Band -The Shadow Puppets were fun, but not exactly up to scratch for this award. Oasis are pretty strong contenders, the band put out a decent record and are set to go on an arena tour in the coming months, being NME favourites it’d be foolish to count them out. But if we’re looking at quality of music, then there’s only one band destined for this year award – Bloc Party (pictured top). Kele & co. have been in full force this year, touring and of course putting out the brilliant ‘Intimacy.’ Dancefloor-filling ‘Flux’ and ‘Mercury’ have also gone down a treat and the album itself has some epic tracks. In this category they clearly deserve success..

Vampire WeekendBest International Band – Main fight here no doubt is between Vampire Weekend (pictured right) and MGMT, though Kings of Leon put up a good fight too. Two brilliant new bands with sensational records and ace singles to match. The two seem inseparable, to choose one would be madness.. take our advice and go with the one your prefer, if you can’t choose (like I couldn’t), flip a coin and see where it takes you.. Oh and whatever you do – don’t vote Crystal Castles!!

Best Solo Artist -Chances are that this being the NME Pete has pretty much walked it. Aside from this though I don’t see the need to vote for anyone, Jay-Z puts in a good shout but the true winner – Kanye West – isn’t even up for nomination!! Something is seriously wrong with this category, it’s another flip, this time between Pete and Jay-Z..

GlasvegasBest New Band -Fucking hell.. this is impossible, every band is deserving and each one of them should be walking away with the title. Out of them all I may like Glavegas the least but they’re still awesome (though massively overhyped too). This ones a tie folks..

Best Live Band -I haven’t been to any of their shows so perhaps I’m not the best to talk you all through, but I have seen them all on BBC Three’s Reading highlights, (if that counts for anything). If I had to go with one band, based on just energy and explosiveness it’d have to be Kings of Leon. They deserve an award this year and their live show was (apparently) flawless.

Best Album -I notice I’ve been a little indecisive over the last couple of awards, but here I’m decided. Though the nominations aren’t great and are lacking some classics from last year (Clinic, Kanye (again!), The Metros, MGMT (if counted), Xiu Xiu etc. etc.)  Bloc Party are enticing us again as are Kings of Leon, and I know I said I’d decided, but I lied..

Find out the rest of my choices tomorrow morning at 11.

The NME awards are around the corner, if you want to have your say head on over to the nominations page and cast your votes now! Voting closes at 4pm tomorrow, 19th February.


Bands To Watch #74: Sad Day for Puppets

By on Tuesday, 27th January 2009 at 9:55 am

Sad Day for PuppetsDon’t let the name put you off, Sad Day for Puppets are the latest chirpy indie band that know how to create a hit or two.  The band only formed three years ago and are already tipped for numerous accolades and awards. It may be a cliche in the music world but Sad Day for Puppets have something more and different to offer than your average indie group with a fantastic mix of genre, style and tone.

Goldfrapp like vocals from Anna Eklund, twangly guitar rhythms and super-smooth  melodic electric leads all help provide an exciting and enticing listen. They’ve supported MGMT and in fact sound like MGMT fronted by a woman. Each track Sad Day For Puppets have made is radio friendly and above all good enough to fill the charts with their hippy, daisy chain sound.

The band have a truly blossoming sound and the fuzzy haze that is applied on the material gives a timeless feel. As for tracks to look out for, just take your pick. ” Marble Gods” and “Big Waves” are two tracks which look likely to be used to thrust the group into the limelight but the band have good consistantcy with plenty of other solid tunes like “Hush” which as the title suggests is a gentle yet upbeat feel happy track.

This Swedish group are not yet an Abba but its not hard to imagine that in a few years, these guys will be at all the festivals pumping out cheer to the audiences. Don’t they know there is a recession going on? Obviously not.


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.


Thom’s Top Albums of 2008

By on Wednesday, 31st December 2008 at 11:07 am

I did intend to do a full top ten, but seeing as I ran out of time I’m gonna list (in no particular order) the top albums of 2008.. I didn’t get time to cut down my shortlist either..

MGMT – Oracular Spectacular – This is the only album I ranked and I did so at Number One. A little cliched? Probably.. Predictable? Yes.. They’re topping loads of lists for this accolade (including the NME) and so perhaps this wasn’t the most shocking, but the truth is that I was praying for a 2008 release on this album (though strictly it was first released in 2007 the retail and UK versions fell in 2008). These physc-rockers have created the best album in a long while. It falls under no specific genre or style, yet is instantly listenable.

Highlights – Time To Pretend, Kids, The Youth


MGMT – Kids

The Metros – More Money, Less Grief – The most under rated debut of the year. If you could bottle London, muggings, sexual riots, ASBOs, depression, topshop and all, then press it on to a CD, it would sound like this. The South London based garage indie rockers have produced one of the best albums of the year, every track is brilliant and the signles released have been on par with the quality of the album as a whole. This definately deserves a listen.

Highlights – Talk About It, Last Of The Lookers, Education Pt.2, Sexual Riot


The Metros –  Education Pt. 2 (Live)

Bloc Party – Intimacy – The unexpected third album from Bloc Party was a pleasant surprise, and anyone lucky enough to see them live this year were lucky as they maintained top form through festivals and tours. The album was a digital adventure in to varying sounds, lead single ‘Mercury’ was a stark contrast to some of the other more mellow singles. It wasn’t low on energy either, ‘Trojan Horse’ amongst others going down a treat at live shows.

Highlights – Signs (whilst there are a load on this album, this track is a must listen


Bloc Party – Talons

Continue reading Thom’s Top Albums of 2008


Live Review: MGMT @ Oxford Academy / 21st August ’08

By on Monday, 25th August 2008 at 7:41 pm

This post appeared originally on the brilliant Four Oh Five, and is one in our continuing series of guest blogs from their capable team of authors.

Last night’s Reading Fest warm-up show was probably the last chance anybody here in England will have had to see MGMT in a relatively small venue before they return in November for a full tour, and my God was it worth the trek. Oxford’s recently converted and renovated Carling Academy is on nothing like the scale of their other venues (Brixton etc.), and the benefits of brand new sound and technical equipment are incredible. I only found out about this show at the last minute, and after getting exam results yesterday morning, I am definitely glad I made the effort.

I had total faith that MGMT’s performance would be impressive to say the least, but one thing I was slightly speculative about before the show was how exactly they were going to fill a full set with just one forty-minute album. Their lack of material was easily noticeable during the gig but they covered it well – not just playing but performing the entire album with an epic blend of instrumentals, along with two or three new songs towards the end, and a collaboration with the tremendously dreadful support band (I still don’t know what they were called because they were too drunk to remember to tell us..).

I thought I’d seen some bad warm-up acts before, and I’m usually pretty difficult to please unless I’m already a fan, but these guys were the crème de la crème of shittiness – I would have been less surprised to hear that they’d been dragged from the streets ten minutes in advance than that they’d actually been CHOSEN by somebody purposefully. Think homeless alcoholic tramps mixed with wannabe-rockstar dads and you’re about there. Still, they made MGMT seem even better.

It was nice to see MGMT look so thrilled at the reception they were getting from the crowd, which was made up of an unusual concoction of fans, from fourteen year-olds to forty-somethings, but they worked hard for it and easily deserved it. It was nice to see a band play around with their music for once, rather than just playing it exactly how it was recorded, and this really proved that MGMT are real musicians who know how to make music. And my oh my did they make it well – this show was explosive!

Both photos are taken from Pupkin’s flickr stream under the creative commons license. The top one can be found here and the side one here.


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