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In the Post #90: Muse return with a teaser trailer for forthcoming album ‘The 2nd Law’

 
By on Thursday, 7th June 2012 at 1:00 pm
 

Muse have been in hiding since the end of ‘The Resistance’ tour, but they have broken their radio silence to reveal a trailer for their new album which will most likely be called ‘The 2nd Law.’ Now while many including myself were disappointed by ‘The Resistance’, it did live up to the expectation that with Muse, you don’t get same ol’, same ol’. You get experiment. Bassist Chris Wolstenholme said that their new album would be “something radically different” and well, from the trailer, it looks it.

The trailer starts slowly with an orchestral backing, reminiscent of ‘Exogenesis: Symphony’ from ‘The Resistance’, or the end of ‘Absolution’-era ‘Butterflies and Hurricanes’. This plays over scenes of what can only be described as great distress… And then…

A robot…a big scary dubstep-y robot appears around the 1:30 mark and all hell breaks loose, in a mash-up of what sounds like the traditional live Muse guitar wrangling and well, a big pile of dubstep. Make of it what you will, but whether you like the trailer or not, this album sounds like it’s going to be as out there as out there goes. Whether “something radically different” is a good thing? That’s the question on any Muse fan’s lips.

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

 

To Glee or not to Glee? – The Permission and Use of Indie Music in Mainstream TV

 
By on Wednesday, 9th May 2012 at 11:00 am
 

‘You Are the Quarry’ had been called Morrissey‘s comeback album in May 2004 after the much-maligned ‘Maladjusted’ released in 1997. Things were looking good for the Mozzer; the album was his highest charting album ever in America. Fast forward a couple months and I’m flipping through cable channels to find something interesting to watch and I hear a couple bars of something familiar. I look more closely at the television. It’s the new MTV teen reality show Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County, and during what I’m guessing was supposed to be a tender moment, what do I hear in the background but ‘First of the Gang to Die’.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTSCQNEMD5A[/youtube]

Sadly, I don’t have a YouTube video to go along with this; the video above is taken from the film for Who Put the M in Manchester?, filmed live at the MEN in 2004 (I’ve played my DVD of this so many times, my DVD skips, I think I broke it). But in my research for this piece, I also learned it was used in an episode of Date My Mom, such that a boy and the coed his mother chose as his date can disappear into the sunset. By limo. We have no way of knowing if Steven Patrick Morrissey himself approved the usage of this song, but it’s hard to believe he would allow the song, about a kid in a Latino gang who becomes a martyr by being the first in his group of friends to die, to be used in either context. While it is a pop song, it’s not really a song about sunny days and going out on dates.

It seems not surprising that the E4 reality drama Made in Chelsea, essentially the UK’s answer to Laguna Beach with well-heeled rich kids from a posh area of London, also uses current ‘hot’ songs in their shows. I won’t list every artist, but a quick glance at the tracklisting for the first episode of the first series for Made in Chelsea lists tunes form some pretty impressive stars that we’ve written about before: Adele, Dragonette, Morning Parade, Muse, the Script, Tinie Tempah (erroneously credited as ‘Tinie T’) and Two Door Cinema Club (twice!). Either the producers have been reading up on the music blogosphere or consulting with people in the know on ‘what’s hot’ (more likely the latter).

That said, what role – or what rights – do artists have in permitting (or not permitting) the use of their songs on television. The use of Noz’s ‘First of the Gang to Die’ and the Made in Chelsea soundtracks came into my mind when I read that Australian singer/songwriter Gotye, recent Saturday Night Live performer and pretty much world pop sensation, was complaining that his mega hit ‘Somebody That I Used to Know’ was no longer his. Specifically, this had to do with its usage in the American pop tv sensation Glee. You know, that show where famous songs are redone by teen actors and generally speaking, the original versions of the song gain quite a lot of publicity, while the young people of the world get confused about music history. Goyte’s quandary? “I wasn’t sure whether something so mainstream was right for my music and whether it reflected on my music in my bad way. But I think I realised that the song’s so popular, it’s kind of out of my hands, so when something like Glee comes along, why would I say no?”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cay2dnuhcs[/youtube]

The man subsequently whinged on the success of the song, saying, “sometimes I feel like I’m a bit sick of it. My inbox, on any given day, has at least five covers or parodies or remixes of it and there’s only so many times you can listen to the one song.” I don’t know about you, but I can’t even begin to count on both hands how many bands I’ve met over the last 3 years that would love to be a similar position of ‘discomfort’. I guess success – and the happiness you get from success – is a fickle thing; maybe when you have it and realise it’s not so great, you want to bash it and everything that comes with it. Careful though: Goyte had to give his permission to the producers of Glee to use ‘Somebody That I Used to Know’ in one of their episodes. He could have easily put the kibosh on the matter entirely by blocking its use on the popular American tv show; there are probably others, but most notably Kings of Leon and Foo Fighters have refused the Fox tv programme permission. Dave Grohl’s response to the invitation: “It’s every band’s right, you shouldn’t have to do fucking Glee. And then the guy who created Glee is so offended that we’re not, like, begging to be on his f**king show… f**k that guy for thinking anybody and everybody should want to do Glee.”

While I agree with Grohl on this – I personally can’t stand the show and how it repurposes already great music, only to redo them in charmless, overblown, unworthy imitations – there seems to be no right or wrong answer for an artist or band considering allowing commercial use of their songs. Some bands still and will always feel that allowing such permission debases the artistic value of their hard work and inspiration. However, maybe the gold standard yet groan worthy rule of PR applies here: “there is no such thing as bad publicity.” As much as Goyte might complain that the song he wrote no longer belongs to him, ‘Somebody That I Used to Know’ is still #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the third week running. Suffering for one’s art? Maybe not so much.

 

Leeds 2011: Day 1 (John’s Roundup)

 
By on Thursday, 1st September 2011 at 2:00 pm
 

The heavens were open. The ground was softening. It looked to be another washout festival for me and my poor £10 wellies! My spirits would not be dampened (soaked) though. There were bands to be seen at Leeds 2011, and cider to be drunk out of silly paper cups.

First on my list was American band Taking Back Sunday. Don’t ask me why! The veteran pop-punkers have been here before, on this very spot at the very same time, hardly a fact that Taking Back Sunday will be proud of. However the Long Island boys jumped into ‘Cute Without the E’ with gusto. The crowd reacted well; regrettably, this reaction was to be short-lived. After the initial hit, the impetus was lost and the band sunk into album tracks and new record promotion, contributing to their own demise. The response was little more than silence or more turning around and scampering for another stage. Singles ‘Liar’ and ‘Make Damn Sure’ provoked some reaction from the subdued masses but it was too little to late and Taking Back Sunday skulked off stage to almost silence. Bar a few Alans and Steves.

To follow that was folk-punk troubadour and TGTF favourite Frank Turner, who immediately stated his intention with 1 and a half minute belter ‘Try This At Home.’ There really is nothing better then joining in with thousands of people and shouting the word ‘Dick’ at the height of your voice! It *is* part of the song, eh? Eton-educated Turner and his band the Sleeping Souls’ had the masses of muddy teens in the palm of their hands from the word go. With old favourites like ‘Photosynthesis’ and ‘Reasons Not to Be an Idiot’ being joined by new single ‘If I Ever Stray’, Turner’s set went down a storm. “I’ll be hanging round the Lock-Up Stage the rest of the day”, he says as he leaves. The crowd thinks, will you really? Secret set to follow.

A change in pace was in order after that. None better then UK DIY rockers Enter Shikari. If they can’t get you splashing around in the mud, it’s hard to tell what will get you shifting! For sure they delivered one of the surprises of the weekend: their wild mash-up of metal, dance and some cheeky dubstep made for essential festival listening.

Off to the NME tent next to survey whether Panic! At the Disco had recovered from their Reading Festival nightmare. For those who can’t remember here is the short version: “Band leave. Play songs. Be a bit whiny. Crowd not happy. Bottle of wee thrown. Bottle hits Brendan Urie. Urie knocked out cold. Set over.” So for them to return to the festivals was obviously a very brave move for the band. The move paid off; the band was greeted to rapturous applause and shouts of “Panic, Panic!” Urie immediately began to strut about the NME/Radio 1 stage as if it was his own back garden. The crowd loved him, screaming the words to ‘But It’s Better If You Do’ and lifting the roof at set closer ‘I Write Sins Not Tragedies.’

One of the biggest success stories of this year has been the remarkable rise of Ed Sheeran, the ginger haired rap/acoustic/beat boxing/anything else cool kid of the moment has hit the ground flying and looks like a force to be reckoned with. No surprises then that his set in the Festival Republic tent was already spewing people out into the open air when I arrived. The audience was, as expected, composed primarily of young girls who all desperately “want to be Mrs. Sheeran” and other such morons. Hits ‘The A Team’ and ‘You Need Me Man, I Don’t Need You’ sound good. The remainder of the set plunges into obscurity. The loop pedal trick is cool, we know; Joe Driscoll did it about 5 years ago and was 1000% more interesting, just not as in such a “handsome” and “gorgeous” package. (Cue vomiting.) The rise of this ginger pop star is set in stone already: major label contract signed, videos out. So expect a number 1 this Sunday from Sheeran. Yes you heard it here first. (Yawn! Next please!)

Finally there was the spectacle that many had been waiting all day crushed at the barriers of the main stage for. Muse. It’s the 10th anniversary of ‘Origin of Symmetry’ and in celebration the Devon powerhouse played the album in its entirety. Too many punter faces were confused, wondering “Where’s ‘Supermassive Black Hole?’ Why aren’t they playing ‘Undisclosed Desires?” Answer to the latter: it’s garbage that’s why, OK? Answer to the former. Because it’s coming in the second half, along with ‘Desires.’ Philistines.

The first half of the set was majestic, as if they had been playing these songs on every tour, not just resurrecting them for these shows. ‘Dark Shines’ was triumphant, ‘New Born’ epic and ‘Plug in Baby’ thoroughly spellbinding, while ‘Feeling Good’ was one that everyone in the crowd could sing along to. The second half delivers hits and the same ol’ encore; a harmonica plays, Matt Bellamy spins a weird box and they tear into ‘Knights of Cydonia’. Queue the madness in the crowd. A successful set for Muse ends, but need I even write that. They’re always good. Guaranteed to tear the roof/stage/arena apart. True rock legends and they’ve got more to come.

 

Preview: Reading and Leeds 2011

 
By on Thursday, 24th March 2011 at 11:00 am
 

One of the most highly-anticipated music festivals in the UK is returning to Richfield Avenue and Bramham Park this summer. Yep, it’s Reading and Leeds, held during the August bank holiday weekend.

Apart from the headliners, this year’s line-up looks not too different from the one from last year. The Strokes, who have just released their new album ‘Angles’ (TGTF review here), seem to be one of the biggest names this year. Elbow will be a blast as well as they will no doubt play tracks from ‘build a rocket boys!’ Other headliners include Muse (pictured above), My Chemical Romance, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Pulp and Interpol.

Let’s move on to the NME/ Radio 1 stage, the stage I’m most interested in. Metronomy and Patrick Wolf will definitely be highlights. I personally think that Reading’s second day on the NME stage line up is the best for Ilike all the bands playing; I’m particularly looking forward to Everything Everything’s performance, and Kiwis the Naked and Famous are going to be fun to watch as well. Other great acts include Noah and the Whale, White Lies, Crystal Castles, Bombay Bicycle Club, Warpaint, Chapel Club and Cage the Elephant.

The Festival takes place on the August Bank Holiday weekend – Friday 26th to Sunday 28th August 2011. The tickets are available from SeeTickets (0870 060 3775). As for purchasing in person, tickets are available at the following 3 HMV stores: Reading Oracle, Southampton (weekend tickets only) and Oxford (weekend tickets only). Tickets are £199.50 for the weekend and £89.50 per day.

The line-up as announced so far is after the cut.
Continue reading Preview: Reading and Leeds 2011

 

Roskilde Festival: Day 3 Roundup

 
By on Wednesday, 21st July 2010 at 2:00 pm
 

A helpful hint about music festivals: try as you may to see every single band you’ve ticked off the set schedule weeks before you’ve even set foot on the property, you’re going to miss some, because you’re either 1) hungry, 2) thirsty, 3) drunk or 4) just plain tired. While I admit to succumbing to #2 (it was hot, much hotter than it normally is in Denmark) and #4 (the only explanation for Day 2’s epic oversleep), all things considered I was in pretty good shape for Saturday, especially after getting to bed at a decent hour the night before.

I already knew Saturday at Roskilde was going to be a long day. So this time I checked, double-checked, and triple-checked that the alarm clock on my mobile was properly set before going to bed the night before. After filling up on a massive breakfast of several soft-boiled eggs, too many slices of cold cuts that tasted suspiciously (in a good way) of liverwurst and several cups of strong tea, I headed back to the festival. First up on the agenda was the Rumour Said Fire, a Copenhagen indie rock band officially ‘sanctioned’ by the festival organisers themselves by virtue of being the one band chosen to be official guest bloggers for the festival. Think Fleet Foxes and Mumford and Sons. Pretty good stuff.

They were followed by another local favourite duo, the Asteroids Galaxy Tour and their touring band. The only difference: the Asteroids Galaxy Tour are now world-famous and travel all over the globe. Even you, dear reader, are likely to have heard of them. The festival organisers are quick to point out that this is a band that started out on the emerging artists line-up of Pavilion Junior years ago and now are a global success. Blonde lead singer Mette Lindberg was radiant in hot pink and gold sequins, belting out the duo’s starry-eyed, soulful, psychedelic hits like ‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine No More’ and ‘Around the Bend’. Amazing to see them to play to their home audience, Lindberg looking overwhelmed by the marvelous crowd response.

After the cut: this review of day 3 continued with more photos.

Continue reading Roskilde Festival: Day 3 Roundup

 

Roskilde Festival: Day 3 Review: Muse

 
By on Friday, 16th July 2010 at 2:00 pm
 

Muse. What can I say about the Devon rockers that has not been said on this blog by editor Phil and my DC partner in crime Mary Beth. It seems like no stage can contain them. I knew I didn’t have a chance at getting into the pit for their set Saturday night because that would have required queueing for hours in the sun not seeing anyone else, and I didn’t want to miss Vampire Weekend, Bad Lieutenant, or even half of Pendulum’s set over at Arena.

So just when the sky started to slightly darken, I escaped the total craziness of the Pendulum fans and headed over and chose a relatively clear spot further back stage left where I could see a jumbotron and witness Muse as an American at a European music festival. It’s a little weird to be by yourself at a music festival, because everyone else shown up with their many friends, or their girlfriend, boyfriend, wife or husband, or in some cases, their extended family. Several couples in the vicinity let me hang with them and made sure I could see, which I thought was very sweet.

I felt slightly blinded the first time when I saw Muse with Mary Beth back home in March, but I knew this was going to be a thousand times bigger, and I was right. Coloured squares of lights flashed brilliantly onstage for ‘Supermassive Black Hole’, green lasers projected across the fields for ‘Undisclosed Desires’ and all the while, banners and flags waved in unison to the music. I had to pinch myself from time to time to remind myself, this is really happening! I’m seeing Muse at Roskilde!

The best moment of the night had to be when the chorus of ‘Plug in Baby’ started up and everyone – I mean everyone – started jumping up and down, fists pumping in the air. It’s one of my favourite songs of theirs, so of course I joined in the revelry. To be honest, I think the crowd reaction for this was far and away much more manic than for the song that followed it, the set closer ‘Knights of Cydonia’. Maybe because it has less words, so therefore less audience participation is possible? No matter. It was all sheer epicness. I’m not really sure what’s left for Muse to conquer. Surely they’ve already conquered the world. Maybe a broadcast from the moon to the other intelligent life forms in the universe?

After the cut: set list.

Continue reading Roskilde Festival: Day 3 Review: Muse

 
 
 

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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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