Wednesday, 27 November 2013

The Further Adventures Of Miley Cyrus's Pants

So recently Miley Cyrus continued her efforts to be all grown up by performing at The American Music Awards (which are like the Smash Hits Poll Winners Party, only not taking the piss). And the whole thing was just plain strange.

First there is the introduction of the song by "Two Chains" and Jaden Smith, which lasted 5 seconds whilst their introduction lasted 15 seconds. Yup, their own intro and walk on was 3 times longer than the thing they actually did.

This is curious, but then Miley comes on with a giant, soulless cat floating around in the background.
The cold, dead eyes of a killer.
And then it started lipsyching to everything she was singing, with an ever so slight delay which gets creepier the more you look at it. The only things that moved were it's lips and it's eyelids, all the time looming over Miley like some kind of demonic avatar of cute death as the universe explodes around it in 2ks rave CGI extravagance). And then it cries, or at least it's ears drop and what appear to be diamond like things fall out of it's pure black eyes. Is this supposed to be cute? If so it missed by a mile. Is it intended to be goofy? If so then why have it for the image of such a serious song? Is it intended to be emotional? If so then for gods' sake it put it out of its misery before it eats someone's face.

Meanwhile Ms Cyrus was resplendent in a two-piece gym-wear type affair (also with cute little kitten heads on it, possibly to mark her as favoured of The Destroyer or possibly because she thinks childish hyper-sexuality is a positive thing to promote) and then proceeded to stand in one place for the whole song. There was the odd lean-over during the 'intense moments' (or maybe it was mournful twerking) and the occasional waving of her overly bangled arms but her feet stayed firmly in place. Why such savagely cut get up that is clearly designed for dance/mobility then? Well clearly to show off her (near stationary) legs to the world! Cause she's a rebel and stuff, with the 'sexualitising' and stuff. Which is just stupid given the performance of the song and leaves her looking the most tryhard she has ever achieved (which is, in itself, quite an accomplishment).

Separately either of these two elements would simply be strange, together the juxtaposition of goofy/hellbound kitten and pseudo-sexy during breakup song just mash into a confusing mess which leaves me wondering who the hell thought it was a good idea. Which, given that she either came up with it or okayed it, means Miley Cyrus thought it was a good idea, which means that she is mad.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Death Reflects Us - Beastmilk

BeastMilk are a Finnish "apocalyptic death-rock" band and they sound like this

Beastmilk: Death Reflects Us (2013) from Wacky Tie Films on Vimeo.

which I'm sure you can agree is quite spiffy, having a decent mix of 80's gothic and Scandinavian hard rock. It's somewhat retro but given the video I think they are well aware of that and are aiming for that kind of feel, so I won't hold it against them at this point.

Should be getting my hands on some more of their stuff (as ever: send me anything and I will write a post about it) and if this is anything to go by then it should be rather good.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Anti-Nowhere League @ The Junction 7/11/2013

Good news, punk still isn't dead. It is a bit older, a lot wider around the middle, and quite possibly has to go home early so it can get the kids to school, but it continues to be loud, heartfelt, and quite angry.

First up was The Destructors, a Peterbrough band who were active in the 80's and then split until recently reforming. They did a half-hour of high energy "Oi" whilst looking very much like they had walked on-stage from the audience (40+, balding, tubby, up-for-it) and decided to give it their all. Nothing that will change your musical world but plenty to bring a warm glow to your heart.

The UK Subs followed up and were given the kind of welcome a band that has been constantly active for 30+ years should expect, which they replied to with a set the kind of set 30+ year active band can provide. A nice range of punk rock and hardcore, spanning the range of their albums, along with a bit of blues. The classics ("Warhead", "Riot", "Down On The Farm") were all present, along with new ones that got a great reception from the slowly growing crowd. Charlie Harper was magnificent as the 69 year old godfather of Punk that he is, softly spoken & warm whilst talking to the audience but energised & powerful when singing. Few dramatics but great stage presence from all the band, so if you get a chance give them a look as there is still plenty left in them.

And then my rock-star moment: Charlie Harper came out into the audience to grab a beer and listen to the music. I respectfully walked over, thanked him for the music, and shock him by the hand. He smiled, said thanks in return, and appeared to just enjoy being their. A great moment. About 30 minutes later he then stood on my foot whilst making his way to the bar, at which it all got just too surreal as this is a guy that I've read about in books & seen in documenteries.

Then it was the main act: The Anti-Nowhere League, and they got fucked over by their sound guy as from the off their usually thunderous guitar sound just came across as tinny & distant, whislt their drums were all over the place. Really, really, annoying as their actual set was brilliant. Not sure if it's punk or heavy metal (lots of facial hair in the band so its a tougher call than you would think) but it was all energy, aggression, and lots & lots of swearing. Animal continues to be an amazing frontman, leaning into the crowd and holding court with ease, and the current lineup have a great connection going. Song wise it was a bit heavy on the older stuff, but then with a back catalogue including "I Hate People", "So What" and "For You" who can blame them. Overall: a brilliant noise that managed to sound fresh & evocative.

The only downside to the night (other than the sodding awful sound during the headline band) was the lack of younger audience members. Whilst the bands on stage were all from the 80's I had thought that there would be more people from the 20-30 age group than their were (myself and Laura were well below the median age there, and we're hardly spring-chickens), especially considering the stature of the bands involved and the 'all ages' attitude that punk professes to maintain. I didn't expect the place to be flooded with youth, I just didn't expect the disparity to be so big. Still, chances are that the kids who 'should of been there' were all off listening to someone just as good but closer to their age.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Reflektor - Arcade Fire

If you have already heard Arcade Fire then their latest album is unlikely to change your mind about them: you will either continue to love them or you will continue to fail what all the fuss is about. The problem is that Arcade Fire have a very distinct sound and feel to all of their work, one that manages to split opinions more than any other light indie rock band out there, and this album is an evolution of their sound, rather than a big advancement.

Its a lot of midtempo songs with lyrics about the trials of being young (or young at heart), a bit of an outsider, and not living in the most perfect of worlds. There is a healthy dose of Americana (fittingly, given that they are a Canadian band), along with the odd nod to more exotic things like reggae, electronica, and even some 70's French disco, all rolling along at a nice steady pace. Nothing is going to set off a moshpit, although Normal Person is likely to get your head nodding and You Already Know would get a nice floor going in the right kind of club, as this is more of a listener of an album which you will invariably want to hear played live.

I have to confess that it took a couple of listens for it to find more than a passing place in my heart, most likely due to the perfection that was The Suburbs being setting such a high bar, but right now I can't stop listening to it. This is the rarest of things in this day and age: a collection of music which is best listened to as a whole, rather than a selection of separate songs. It's also a double album, not quite sure why as it's only 76 minutes long so could easily all be put onto a single disc so possibly a bit of an own-goal against the 'this is just pretentious indie shoegasing' crowd that decry them any chance they give. So, to conclude: if you have liked their previous work then "get it now!" as you'll love it, possibly after a few listens, if you haven't listened to their work before then give it a try and then consider getting it, and if you didn't like their previous stuff or just find them annoying then don't get it.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Generation Q - 1/11/2013

Midnight set for the "Dia de los muertos" special at The Q Club.

This is Halloween - Marilyn Manson
Dragula - Rob Zombie
Monster Mash - The Misfits
Ghost Busters - Xentrix
Island of zombie women - The Horatii
Discotheque Necronomicon - Killing Miranda
Die, die my darling - The Misfits
Astro Zombies - My Chemical Romance
Fashion Zombies - The Aquabats
Fire! - Die Krupps