Thursday, June 11, 2009

Best Singles of 2009 - half year view

As we approach the halfway point in the year, it si time to look at the best singles and albums of 2009, thus far. Singles this week. So in no particular order and just down to what I can remember ...

Top 20 Singles

1. La Roux –In for the Kill
2. La Roux - Bulletproof
3. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Heads Will Roll
4. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Zero
5. Taylor Swift – Love Story
6. Kelly Clarkson – I don't hook up
7. The Veronicas – Untouched
8. The Prodigy – Invaders Must Die
9. Florence & The Machine – Rabbitt Heart
10. Depeche Mode – Wrong
11. The Decemberists - The Rake’s Song
12. Bonnie “Prince” Billy - I Am Goodbye
13. Pet Shop Boys - Love etc
14. Steel Panther - Death To All But Metal
15. Peaches – Talk to Me
16. Kings of Leon – Use Somebody
17. Bat For Lashes – Daniel
18. Lily Allen – It's Not Fair
19. Seether – Careless Whisper
20. Bruce Springsteen – Working on a Dream

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Fishbone @ 02 Academy, Islington 05/06/09

It has been a while since I last saw Fishbone, and a couple of years ago I would have been unsure as to whether the band could still cut it, after a couple of quite disappointing album releases, but last year's 'Still Stuck in Your Throat' was the best record that had made since 'Reality' in my view (although I do still like the raw rock of 'Monkey').

The first time I saw them - October 1991 (I think?) – at Brixton(?) (one of the best gigs I have ever been to) , they filmed the promo video for the song 'Fight the Youth' off The Reality of my Surroundings album Back then they still have their optimum line up (inc Kendall Jones, JB Bigham, Walter Kibby) but even with the current line up I am pleased to say that Fishbone still know how to put on a show.

Angelo Moore still like to throw himself into the crowd at any and every opportunity (Dre Gipson – a welcome addition on Keys and vocals is also keen), and Angelo still enjoys taking his clothes off, although these days he seems to be avoiding the full strip that occurred back in that 90's gig. Also good to see John 'Norwood' Fisher still plays a mean bass.

The set is a lot more Ska orientated as opposed to Rock orientated back in 1991, but as Fishbone have always been a pretty good Ska band, this is not a problem, and gives us plenty of opportunities to hear Angelo on Sax and John McKnight on Trombone blasting out sounds together, and sounding damn funky. What did they play?

1. Poem Skank
2. Cheyenne Star / Forever Moore
3. The Suffering
4. Everyday Sunshine
5. Ma & Pa
6. Date Rape
7. Deep Inside
8. Bonin' in the Boneyard
9. Behind Closed Doors
10. One Planet People
11. Alcoholic (inc bit of Gary Glitter – Rock n Roll pt II)
12. Subliminal Fascism
13. Let Dem Ho's Fight
14. Party At Ground Zero


15. Chim Chim's Badass Revenge
16. Give it Up
17. Freddie's Dead

I was disappointed not to hear 'Sunless Saturday' - even more so when I heard that it was on the set list [just not played] Of what they did play, my personal highlights were: Ma & Pa, Bonin' in the Boneyard, Behind Closed Doors, Subliminal Fascism, Let Dem Ho's Fight, and Freddie's Dead.

Great to see the band again and reminded me of what a fine live act they are, and that I must make sure that I am here next time around too.

Alcoholic /Subliminal Fascism / Let Dem Ho's Fight

Todd - AWATS

Been a bit slow in mentioning that I have tickets for Todd doing this in London next Feb. LONG way off, but looking forward to seeing if he can pull performing one of the bext albums of the 70s live.

Veronicas - Hook me up

I first heard of Australian duo, The Veronicas at the end of last year, when I caught a few seconds of the title track of their current album. It stuck in my head, but the band's name didn't until the beginning of this year when I remembered and downloaded the album. I then forgot about it again, until a month ago, when I decided to give it a spin, and found that I loved it.

The band comprise Lisa and Jess Origliasso, 22 year old identical twin sisters. Their debut album was a pop/rock affair in the style of Avril lavigne /Ashlee Simpson et al. Whilst it showed hints of the twins' ability to pen catchy pop tunes it never really delivered on its initial promise. Move forward a few years and they have now delivered that promise in Spades with 'Hook Me Up' – a collection of infectious 80s influenced (Flashdance, Boys of summer as well as nods to Prince/Shelia E) synth pop/rock tunes.

The Video for Hook me up , with the whole schoolgirl uniform thing going on reminds you of Britney and Russian pair, taTu – the later is somehow appropriate as the girls had a hand in writing a hit for the Russians. On this album the girls have a hand in writing all but two of the songs on the album (excluding bonus track)

They are involved in co-writing all but 2 songs on the album, and Billy Steinberg (a man responsible for writing or co-writing songs such as Like a Virgin, True Colours, Alone, Precious Time, Eternal Flame, I Touch Myself, I'll Stand By You) also lends a hand to two tracks.

The album has been out elsewhere for between 1-2 years and is only just getting a UK release, but I predict that it will do big business in the UK, where the 80s and 80s come-back tours – Kajagoogoo, Spandau Ballet, Ultravox, ABC, Human League etc – are back in vogue. Add to that the like of Little Boots and La Roux leading to new wave of 80s synth pop, and it could not be a better time for the Veronicas.

Highlights of the album: Current single, 'Untouched', Yazoo verse sounding 'This Love', solid pop/rock ballad, 'Someone Wake me up', and album closer, and slow builder, 'In Another Life'.