Alternative music reviews

July 25, 2006

Let’s Rewrite History

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The 365 challenge? What was that?

I dumped the idea. Bands don’t send me CDs to be mentioned as one of 365. They want my opinions of the release, something they can quote in their press section. Most of the pieces were half way to a review anyway (and have now been turned into such). I did enjoy being able to talk about some of my long time favourites so I may figure out a way to continue doing that.

I also found that I can write nearly an entry a day. If I can just write a review every day or two then maybe I can keep on top of the review pile a bit better than I have been doing. Of course reviews may not be as considered as say the Tom Leach one which, although fairly short, took about 150 song listens (LastFM undercounts by the way).

July 22, 2006

Nomad 67

Filed under: ramblings — @ 12:45 pm Comments (3)


I can proudly say that I found Nomad 67 on MySpace when they had about 3 friends. I was looking through the recently added bands (when I say I look for new music I mean it) on that site when I saw their name. I recognised it because I had heard a track on the Radio programme The Friday Session. They probably thought I was a serial friend adder but I explained how I had heard of them. They sent me their debut album The Art of Individuality and on the first listen all you would have been able to see was a pair of smoking shoes and a hole in the ceiling. Exciting? You bet.

In my review I avoided talking about the ages of Nomad 67 (I wish I hadn’t been told) because this was music that could be judged against the best of anything I’d heard. The fact that they were 15 at the time didn’t matter. Here was something I could rate alongside The Stooges debut album – an album that sustained me through my teenage years. Raw guitar music with teenage angst. There’s a big part of me that has never grown up and every time I listen to this band it is re-invigorated.

One very nice feature of WordPress is the way that you can post-date an entry. This entry will magically appear at 12:45 today – the time that Nomad 67 are scheduled to appear at the Streets Alive festival in Ludlow. I will be there with my young son and daughter. I have been so looking forward to this day.

July 18, 2006

BBC Coventry and Warwickshire: Sounds

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I have come to regard BBC Hereford and Worcestershire’s Friday Session as essential listening for anyone in the UK who wants to hear new music. Add to that BBC Radio Oxford’s The Download which is local to me and plays local bands (and Oxford is buzzing with great bands at the moment). My only sadness is that I don’t always get to listen right through to the momentous Raw Talent (broadcast on four Yorkshire area radio stations). I should mention Radio Northampton that also has a good show: The Weekender.

The Internet is changing the way you can discover new music. First there is MySpace that has become that dreamed of thing: the place where every band can put some music up and get listened to (increasing numbers of band’s websites just direct to their MySpace page). Now, I am not a great fan of the BBC at times – having had multiple threatening letters for not paying the Licence Fee even though I don’t own a TV. I also think they spend a lot of money stolen from taxpayers’ pockets for unremitting shite (it’s called Saturday Night programming). But the one thing they have got right is the ‘Listen Again’ service on the Internet. This allows you to listen to the previous weeks radio programmes when you feel like it and that includes local radio, which you couldn’t pick up in other parts of the country anyway. I think the BBC local stations have been caught off-guard because they have found out that the local music shows have proved to be really popular on ‘Listen Again’. Often these programmes were put out at times when young people would be out doing whatever young people do (not in the Friday Session’s case). Suddenly they realise that there is an audience. To the BBC’s credit they have responded.

The latest I hear is the opening show of Sounds from Coventry. The first show features The Enemy, a band with attitude and some talent. They play Alt music rooted to the street and if you are looking for a band give you the rush that bands like Kaiser Chiefs did, then look no further. I must dispute their assertion that there has never been any music for Cov (as we call it). I spent ten years there from the age of 18 to 28, and I can assure them that The Specials, Fun Boy Three, and International Megastars (the epitomy of Anarchy, the epitomy of incompetence) were Cov through and through.

This is another welcome addition to the new music fraternity, the host Anita Miah sounds like she understands the music and the bands. I find it interesting that most of the local music that is being played is from smaller radio stations – where the hell is Manchester, Liverpool, and London? Probably so far up their own arses that they never noticed the world has changed.

July 16, 2006

The Blog Has Moved Here

Filed under: ramblings — @ 1:50 pm Comments (4)

I was intending to do another mass review today but I’m a bit distracted. There’s always been this split in my interest between this blog and the main Cool Noise site. I love being able to post regularly here but I know that bands prefer a review on the main site.

I’ve been playing with WordPress over the past few weeks and it’s really easy to install. It also can import all your posts from a Blogspot blog – although it loses embedded videos and pictures. It has occurred to me that I could move the blog over onto Cool Noise wholesale.

And here I am. Cool Noise is christened A Cool Noise and everything is well with the world.

July 14, 2006

Led Man

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Led Man
Led Man’s music encompasses Rock and Pop, with soulful funky touches. What makes him stand apart is a wonderful gravelly voice and some devilish songwriting. The track Ways That We Fall Apart is one of my favourite songs of the past year (I was going to feature it in my planed but abandoned Podcast). If you are very old you may remember Kevin Ayers and Ways is as good as Kevin at his very best.

Led Man

July 10, 2006

Scouting For Girls

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Songs from a more innocent age from a band in their early stages. It’s simply pop music. A sort of pop music that only the English (and the Scandinavians) can produce: quirky, charming, and off-kilter. Have no fear, you will hear of this band again. They have some marketing nous – you can join the Wolf Cubs for free and you get a free CD, badge and booklet. They release each CD with a handy scouting booklet. I predict that these will become highly prized collectible items (I’m eagerly awaiting mine). But hey, who cares; the world as a few more songs that celebrate life and love.

July 7, 2006

Times They Are A Changin’

Filed under: ramblings — @ 11:51 pm Comments (0)

Having just posted about An Immaculate Affair, I read today that they have parted company with their singer Mychael (whose voice I liked so much). Time to download the tracks off the myspace site before they are replaced. I hope AIA prosper with a new front man but I also desperately want to hear Mychael again in some other project.

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