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Album Review: Various Artists – The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Soundtrack

 
By on Tuesday, 15th June 2010 at 12:00 pm
 

Against my better judgement and as hard as I tried to resist, I have to admit that I am a Twilight fan. What drew me in to the books was the first movie, and one of the reasons I liked it so much was the fantastic soundtrack. The Twilight series always manages to get some amazing bands on their soundtracks, many of whom write original songs, and they integrate them seamlessly into the films. And while I can’t speak for how well it will fit with the tone of the film (it isn’t released in America until 30th June and in England until 9th July), the soundtrack for ‘Eclipse’ is certainly as good as the last two.

You can’t review a Twilight soundtrack without mentioning Muse. They have contributed a song to each of the three Twilight soundtracks, which is not surprising, as they’re author Stephenie Meyer’s favorite band, but of the three, this is probably my least favorite. In general, I agree with US Editor Mary’s review of it: that it’s good, but it’s a bit cheesy – it’s definitely a grower.

TGTF favorites Metric open the album with their track ‘Eclipse (All Yours),’ and it’s a great way to begin. Vocalist Emily Haines hits gorgeous high notes in the chorus — “Now I’m all yours / I’m not afraid, I’m yours” — channeling the voice of protagonist Bella Swan. Working with film composer Howard Shore, they created a great song, but it’s missing a bit of the intensity and attitude that I’m used to from the Canadian indie-rockers. Another standout track comes from Florence and the Machine, with the track ‘Heavy in Your Arms’. As usual, it’s the stunning vocals that really make this dark, intense song, with Flo going from more reserved singing in the verses to really belting it out in the chorus: “I’m so heavy, heavy, heavy in your arms.” Florence and her machine may be better-known, but soulful Australian popstress Sia gives her a run for her money with her gorgeous, haunting vocals on ‘My Love.’

One band set to gain a lot of popularity from their inclusion on the soundtrack is Fanfarlo, who TGTF interviewed back in December. They contributed the folksy ‘Atlas,’ which you can see a stripped-down acoustic version of below. The song has a much lighter, more carefree feel than the majority of the album and the vocals are flawless. Adding to the slew of great female vocalists is Bat for Lashes‘s Natasha Khan, who collaborated with Beck on the hypnotic and haunting ‘Let’s Get Lost,’ with Khan taking the lead vocals and Beck providing the backing vocals and synth.

Not to be outdone, the male-led bands also contribute a dizzying array of fantastic music. While Muse held the rock mantle on the first soundtrack with ‘Supermassive Black Hole’ and shared it with Band of Horses on the ‘New Moon’ soundtrack, this time the honor goes to blues-rock duo The Black Keys with their song ‘Chop and Change.’ It’s raw and gritty with a great guitar riff, and everything you’d expect from the Akron, Ohio band. Indie darlings Vampire Weekend are perhaps the most appropriately named of all the bands on the soundtrack, and their song, ‘Jonathan Low,’ is unsurprisingly one of the most upbeat. Recorded towards the end of last year, it’s a bit different from what you might expect from Vampire Weekend’s recent material and is richly orchestrated, with a 12-string guitar part played by Rostam Batmanglij.

A somewhat surprising inclusion is British electro duo UNKLE, whose song ‘With You in My Head’ featuring The Black Angels is at once catchy and mysterious, dance-able and ethereal. Providing a bit of Americana is Band of Horses, who admittedly “don’t know crap about [Twilight]” but think “they put really really cool soundtracks together”. An outtake from the band’s most recent album, ‘Infinite Arms,’  ‘Life on Earth’ is slow and relaxing and has absolutely gorgeous vocal harmonies. And rounding out the album in spectacular fashion is Cee Lo Green of Gnarls Barkley with the upbeat and soulful ‘What Part of Forever.’

Even if you can’t stand the Twilight Saga, do me a favour and go buy this album. If you like the bands we cover on TGTF, chances are you’ll love it – hell, half of them are on the soundtrack!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pb2c-eBuKOI[/youtube]

View Full Track Listing After the Cut

Continue reading Album Review: Various Artists – The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Soundtrack

 

Video of the Moment #263: Muse

 
By on Sunday, 6th June 2010 at 6:00 pm
 

After my somewhat scathing review of the single ‘Neutron Star Collision (Love is Forever)’ from the forthcoming ‘Eclipse’ film soundtrack 2 weeks ago, I wondered if I might be wrong in my appraisal. I didn’t think anything could be cheesier. And I’m sure millions of fangirls around the world are probably shooting arrows out of their eyes in my direction at this instant. But I was seriously wrong about the cheese factor. The video for the single is off the charts. But really, what promo video for a song in a film is ever serious?

Favourite moments in the video? Seeing Matt Bellamy’s expert piano playing being highlighted. And Dom Howard going at it on his drum kit recklessly. I could make do without Bellamy’s spiky hair and the scenes from ‘Eclipse’, but we’ve already established that I’m in the minority. At least for the latter.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTvgnYGu9bg[/youtube]

The ‘Eclipse’ soundtrack album will be released tomorrow, 07 June, in the UK.

 

In the Post #60: Muse

 
By on Thursday, 20th May 2010 at 12:00 pm
 

I reckon it must be pretty nice to be a best-selling author like Stephenie Meyer. (In case you’ve been living under a rock, Meyer is the American author of that super-popular vampire romance series directed at teens that has turned into a uber money-making franchise with the books being spun off into equally huge popular films.) The whole vampire romance genre just goes over my head, but the one thing that I do appreciate from all of this merchandising is that much care has been taken in choosing what songs will go on the films’s soundtrack albums.

But going back to why it must be nice to be a best-selling author (besides being filthy rich): you have power. For example, the strength of the soundtracks is no doubt due to Meyer herself, who is a self-professed Muse fanatic. The Devon band contributed songs to the first two soundtrack albums (‘Supermassive Black Hole’ from 2006’s ‘Black Holes and Revelations’, and then the New Moon remix of ‘I Belong to You’, the original appearing on 2008’s ‘The Resistance’). It was reported back in March by drummer Dom Howard that the band would not be appearing on the soundtrack for ‘Eclipse’, the third film in the series, because “it’s the people in the movie business, completely outside of the writers and the creative types, the non-creative types I suppose are the people who are quite hard to deal with in Hollywood, so it didn’t work out“.

Not sure what happened between now and then but obviously some kind of agreement was made, as the lead single from the ‘Eclipse’ soundtrack was played as Zane Lowe’s Hottest Record in the World on Monday 17 May. Called ‘Neutron Star Collison (Love is Forever)’, it’s stirred some of the most passionate debate on the net as of late. Singer/songwriter Matt Bellamy told Gigwise that the song “kind of like a cheesy love sentiment”, which sounds to be a bit cynical. Possibly? I’d love to sit down with the man sometime and talk about what he really thinks of the ‘Twilight’ franchise.

My first impression? It sounds like an extension of the bombastic, Queen / Freddie Mercury-esque sound the band was already leaning towards in ‘The Resistance’. It’s definitely got a more commercial, middle of the road sound than Muse’s earlier releases. I like the piano interlude similar to the one in ‘United States of Eurasia’. Bellamy’s voice sounds measured, mature – a definite plus. But the lyrics are, as Bellamy stated, incredibly cheesy. Unfortunately, to some of the more devoted Muse fans, this track is going to sound like complete heresy, a complete contradiction to the stadium rock image Muse has carefully cultivated and held for a long time. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

If you live in the UK, you can listen to the song on Zane Lowe’s blog here.

 

Preview: T in the Park 2010

 
By on Tuesday, 4th May 2010 at 12:00 pm
 

Even with many acts still to be revealed, the lineup for Scottish festival T in the Park is looking pretty impressive.  From 9th to 11th July, 2010, thousands of punters will descend upon a disused airfield in Balado, Kinross-shire for a weekend of camping, shopping, carnival attractions and music across 7 stages.

Friday night see’s live favourite Muse headline the main stage, which will also be graced by Paloma Faith, Faithless and other artists yet to be announced. Rather disappointingly, the Radio 1/NME Stage will be headlined by American pop group Black Eyed Peas, who are, in this humble blogger’s opinion, an incredibly obnoxious band. They’ll be playing after TGTF favourites Florence and the Machine and The Temper Trap, as well as Jamie T. Another questionable choice is 3Oh!3 in King Tut’s Wah Wah Tent, though they’ll share the stage with great bands like Calvin Harris, Hot Chip, La Roux and Dirty Projectors. And finally, the Red Bull Bedroom Jam Futures Stage will see Echo and the Bunnymen and TGTF favourite Delphic on Friday.

It’s a toss-up between Saturday and Sunday for which day has the best lineup this year. Rapper Eminem will make his debut T in the Park appearance as Saturday’s Main Stage headliner, marking his first festival performance since 2001. The Main Stage will also see performances by Paolo Nutini, Stereophonics, Vampire Weekend and the Proclaimers. The Radio 1/NME Stage is pretty amazing on Saturday night, with a lineup including The Prodigy, The Courteeners and Wolfmother, and King Tut’s Wah Wah Tent is looking equally fantastic. It’ll see the likes of Mumford and Sons, Rodrigo y Gabriela, We Are Scientists and Kate Nash. Other notable artists like Julian Casablancas, Laura Marling and the Middle East will be gracing the Red Bull Bedroom Jam Futures Stage on Saturday.

Rockers Kasabian headline the Main Stage on Sunday, playing along with other massively popular artists like Jay-Z, Biffy Clyro, John Mayer and Dizzee Rascal. The Radio 1/NME Stage is looking good, too, with performances by Groove Armada, the Cribs, Babyshambles and Rise Against throughout the day. Some of the best up-and-coming bands of the festivals can be seen Sunday on the Red Bull Bedroom Jam Futures Stage, including Bombay Bicycle Club, the Drums, Yeasayer and Two Door Cinema Club.

The festival sold out within 90 minutes,  so if you don’t already have tickets, I’m afraid you’re out of luck. Let us know what you think of the lineup!

Full lineup after the jump…

Continue reading Preview: T in the Park 2010

 

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.

 

Preview: Roskilde Festival 2010

 
By on Friday, 16th April 2010 at 12:00 pm
 

For sure, Roskilde Festival in Denmark is special not only as being the biggest summer rock music festival in Northern Europe. You might think that they could get really lazy and bring in a bunch of Scandinavian acts. But no – you can count on them offering the most eclectic line-up around, choosing artists from all over the globe. The festival also has a conscience: the Roskilde Festival Charity Society makes sure every year the profits from the festival are donated directly to humanitarian and cultural purposes, and the event strives to be as green as possible as well, with volunteers on site helping to raise awareness of how we can help the environment.

The line-up for this year’s festival was announced yesterday with the headliners for this year’s Roskilde Orange Stage being Gorillaz, Jack Johnson, Muse, Nephew, the Prodigy, Patti Smith and her band and Them Crooked Vultures (pictured above). A surprise: Vampire Weekend has been relegated to the middle tier of bands and will not headline this event: I thought they might, since the quartet from New York City will be headlining both Rockness and T in the Park. Our picks for the must-sees at this festival? LCD Soundsystem (with James Murphy’s announcement that ‘This is Happening’ will be his last album), Kasabian, the Temper Trap and ex-Joy Division/ex-New Order Bernard Sumner’s new band Bad Lieutenant.

You might be wondering why I, as an American blog editor, am suddenly so keen on a festival that will take place over 4,000 miles away. Well, I’ll tell you. I’m going this year as one of seven bloggers chosen by the festival organisers themselves. To be honest, I’m very excited (I nearly fainted when I heard the news I’d been picked from scores of applicants) but also a bit anxious as I imagine I will be one of the few American punters (or possibly the only one who’s not in an American band or associated with one?) at the event. I’ve been trying desperately to learn basic Danish from a Berlitz CD but I’m expecting to embarrassed multiple times with my strange sounding accent. If you are attending this year, come and say ‘hej!’ (And that would mean ‘hello’ in Danish.)

The festival will take place Thursday 01 July to Sunday 04 July, plus what they are calling a ‘warm-up period’ starting Saturday 26 June. Tickets are on sale now at the official festival Web site or through Seetickets. A ticket for the warm-up plus all 4 days of the festival runs 1675 DKK (approximately £198) + booking fee, and single day tickets are 850 DKK (approximately £100) + booking fee. Parking, tent and caravan fees are extra.

After the cut: the current line-up as of 15 April 2010. Because the dates of performance haven’t been announced yet, I’ve arranged the list of acts scheduled to appear by billing from top down (by size of the fonts on the poster), then alphabetically. This listing in no way indicates Roskilde’s or even my personal feelings about each band and their merits – I didn’t think it would be useful to throw all the acts together alphabetically!

Continue reading Preview: Roskilde Festival 2010

 
 
 

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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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