Monday, 19 September 2011

Movin' on up!

I've got a new address, new blog, new email, new face! I've changed everything. I don't even know who I am anymore. Seriously though, I've moved. Come and see where I'm at now @ MANMEETDINOSAUR.COM

Friday, 5 August 2011

And I Heard 'Em Say/Nothing Ever Promised Tomorrow Today

Let's see if you geniuses can work this one out.

I will report back with my findings, of course. C'mon Ye. Bring out Jay or Beyonce or Chris Rock or Biggie.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Young Jurassic - Everyone's a Rapper

The cover art of my first EP. Young Jurassic - 'Everyone's a Rapper'

Before I post my killer rap lyrics, I'd like to get a few disclaimers out there.

1. If my rap sounds like someone else, that's definitely intended. I've never claimed to be original.
2. If anyone reading has a cool voice and wants to record the song under my name, make millions and split the money two ways then I'm down.
3. Don't give me shit about my rap name. Shit's old. I'm talking jurassic fossilised hustle man.

Everyone's a Rapper


Rarer than a rapper that aint ever seen scarface

Hittin harder than paralysis with no damn neckbrace

Me Ringo you Paul someone called us fuckin’ drum and bass.

I'm sweet, I'm painfu,l hang yo’self wit’ a strawberry lace


Everyone's a rapper goin' harder than the next

And everyone's a rapper chattin' money, cash, cheques

But nobody big enough to say they got a small dick

Now, errbody wanna come follow the jurassic click


People be talking shit wasting nothing but the time

I just twist it up gin and tonic slice of lime

If you see me going crazy just say 'oh its prolly all for the rhyme'

Look at me man, just too white for a life-a crime


Everyone's a rapper stacking stupid big weight

And everyone's a rapper tryna love mad hate

But nobody big enough to say they live with their mom

Now, err'body run when jurassic drop a bomb


Jurassic, Jurassic, how old are you

Check your textbook son dinosaur how we do

Jurassic, Jurassic, you the leanest thing around

Tell me 'bout it man I gots the fat girls droppin' pounds


Everyone's a rapper with the same old music vid

And everyone's a rapper comin' from the broke little street kid

But nobody big enough to say they used to play Perfect Dark

Now errbody wanna come 'round to see Jurassic's Park.

So, that's my rap song. Go hard or go home bitches.

Where You Been

The title of that album I've posted there poses a good and valid question. Where exactly? Well, below are a few possible explanations for my latest bout of procrastination. My God, I swear it's getting worse.

1. Reddit rage comics. These bitches have me laughing approximately five times a day without fail.
2. Breaking Bad is back like it left sum'in.
3. Jay & 'Ye released a stupidly sick song. 'Otis' is everything I want from 'Watch The Throne'. Immeasurable swagger.
4. The world lost it's shit over a phone hacking scandal and the UK lost it's biggest selling toilet roll.
5. I had to go to work and shit.

Creatively though, I haven't completely seized up. I've done some paintings you'll be pleased to hear. More importantly though, I WROTE A RAP SONG. Yeah, you heard me. I was aimlessly not paying attention to the road on the way home the other day and a few lines popped into my head. Before long, I thought 'well blow me. I'm a rapping driver now!' So I raced home (for all you reading policemen - at the speed limit ;)) and scribbled my fire down.

In fact, I think this deserves it's own post....

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Places I Have Never Been

Here's a piece I recently wrote for The Ruckus that I thought I'd share with you all. It's my top five songs about places I've never visited. I admit - not exactly the hardest thing to write about but I did deliberately not include rap songs because that would've made it too simple even for me. Those rappers like reppin' their hoods you see and often in the titles of their songs.

Top Five Songs About Places I've Never Been To

“Write about what you know” is a phrase you’ve probably heard many times. The thing with these recycled quotes people parrot out is that sometimes, well, they don’t actually mean anything do they? I mean, seriously, no one wants to hear a song about what you really know. Let me put it this another way – let’s say you’re a college student, for example. No one really wants to hear a song about getting wasted, eating pizza and trying to get girls to take their clothes o....oh no, I apologise, I’m wrong. They actually do. It’s called ‘I Love College’ by Asher Roth.

One time ‘writing about what you know’ usually does work though is when you’re talking about places. Towns, cities, countries. They evoke memories and emotions readily and quite often, you don’t even have to have been there yourself.

1. Whiskeytown – Jacksonville Skyline

I’ve never been to Jacksonville. I don’t even want to go to Jacksonville. I know far too many good songs about Jacksonville to go there and have my preconceptions about the place and feelings about said songs shattered to a million pieces. Ryan Adams for one knows Jacksonville a lot better than I do and has written several songs (Hell, it even features in one of his album titles) about the place but none come close to ‘Jacksonville Skyline’. I’ve listened to this song so many times that I can tell you there’s a mistake after 19 seconds and you can hear a little bounce of a guitar string. Listen out for it if you’re that way inclined. I’ve grown to love that mistake and I swear there’s some sort of teenage quote about imperfections making things perfect that I could use here if I was a Goo Goo Dolls fan or something like that.

2. Bruce Springsteen – Nebraska

Yes, yes, I know what you’re thinking. “You looked at the Nebraska tracklist for a place related song title and you didn’t choose ‘Atlantic City’?!” Yeah, that’s exactly right punk. Now, I love ‘Atlantic City’, of course I do, but ’Nebraska’ sets up and starts off one of the most remarkable albums I’ve ever heard. Desolate, eerie, haunting and desperate. No, I’m not talking about my flat for once, I’m talking about an album Bruce released as the follow up to the ‘The River’ which, if you’re not aware, went platinum five times. Man’s got some big old balls, you’ve gotta give him that at least.

3. Elliott Smith - Alameda

Alameda is a street in Los Angeles that I’ve never visited so this bittersweet microcosm of all Elliott Smith is about can be fairly included in this wonderful list. A beautifully balanced song with one of those melodies that is so good you can’t help but think that when Elliott died, he took a gift with him that can’t be replicated by anyone else on our little planet.

This song also happens to feature one of Elliott’s most quoted and famous lines ‘Nobody broke your heart/you broke your own cos you can’t finish what you start’ which might be a reference to someone who has a heart attack whilst attempting to eat one of those world record sized steaks but then again, it also might not.

4. Neil Young – Philadelphia

If I make a joke about soft cheese in this write up then punch me in the face. This song was the product of Young being asked to write something for the film of the same name that starred Tom Hanks playing a gay lawyer that is unfairly dismissed for having AIDS. I would say the song is a little more cheery than that brief film synopsis but it isn’t. Put it this way, I can’t listen to it in public because it makes me get all emotional and before you know it well whaddaya know, I’m crying in the street and everyone is laughing at me.

5. The Hold Steady – Sequestered in Memphis

Okay, okay. I admit. This one is a cheat. I actually have been to Memphis so I probably shouldn’t include this one. It was absolutely awesome by the way. If you want to know what it’s like then think about the town you live in. Now think about it doused it in whiskey and multiplied by Elvis. It’s kinda like that. This song is classic The Hold Steady – massive chorus, horns, the word ‘bar’ is mentioned at some point. Plus ten points for the line ‘in bar light she looked alright/in daylight she looked desperate’ too.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

What Made Us Laugh Before The Internet?

I mean, what?

The internet, the internet, the internet. Never has a deep, dark and wholly immoral pit been so multi coloured and alluring. It’s like a direct contrast to those sex shops you’d see around town in the early 90s with completely whitewashed windows and a sign that simply read ‘Private Shop’. Still, for all its perversion, lack of censorship and inaccurate Wikipedia entries that are ruining homework up and down the land, there is one thing it is still amazingly good at and that’s making us laugh. Or LOL. It all depends on how old you are.

May as well have a sign outside that says 'SHOP FOR PERVERTS'.

If you ever read any columns about the internet and how it has impacted on our society you’ll often read about how this mass sharing of easily accessible information is educating us all in the ways of our world or how this all-encompassing network is bringing this globe of ours closer together as it bulldozes social boundaries and smashes all ideologies that stand in its way. For me, though, I think the vast majority of us log on to look at things that ya know, just make us chuckle. Whether it’s that bunny with that pancake on its head or a high school gymnast attempting a somersault and landing square on her face, the internet shows you funny things you would never have seen otherwise.

Explaining internet memes is one of the hardest things to do.

A quick check of my internet history (doesn’t include private browsing thankfully) and I can safely say that 80% of the sites I access are for things that make me laugh. YouTube, a site that just had loads of pictures of sloths on it, a Google search for ‘funny jokes to tell in awkward social situations’. This is even before delving in to Facebook and how many times I’ve cracked up at the general idiocy of my ‘friends’. Put simply, the World Wide Web is a goldmine when it comes to funnies and I have absolutely no problem admitting that without it the vast majority of my jokes wouldn’t work, I’d have no friends and within 18 months the differences between me and Mr. Bean wouldn’t be that numerable.

The million dollar question.

So what did people do before the internet for LOLS? Force their cats into embarrassing situations whilst shouting funny captions? Switch peoples car cassettes for Rick Astley singles? Watch ‘The Fast Show’ repeats? I honestly can’t remember and I’m 25 years old. All I know is that this crazy thing that has the whole world glued to their computer screens can crease you up quicker than a killer whale sitting on your work shirt and for that we should all be grateful. So, here’s to you internet. You’re like the funny friend I’ve never had and, in all honesty, would never want.

Monday, 27 June 2011

If You've Got Some Fire, Share It.

SSS brings another man to tears.

Right, one of my many readers sent me a tweet yesterday asking if I had any Spotify playlists I could share and the answer to that is "Yes indeed I do." So, below you'll find a list of links I've made over the years. Maybe they'll help you when you're sat frozen, with Spotify open, not being able to think of a single song or artist in the universe. I've had times where I've got this Spotify Statue Syndrome (SSS) so bad I've just typed 'good songs' into the search bar. Pathetic. Some are posted from me and some from my old spotify account before I set up this blog.

Crisp and cut. Crisp and damn cut.

1. 'Rip This Holy Night' - Best song - Probably 'Papa Was a Rolling Stone' by The Temptations because not only is it the best song on this particular list, it's also the best song on Spotify period. 'It was the third of September/That day I'll always remember/Yes I will.'

Sheffield and I.

2. 'No Horizon Blues' - Best song - Probably 'Cornerstone' by Arctic Monkeys because it's the best song that Morrissey has never written.

Ay yo Jay. Where'd ya lil brother get his tie from?

3. 'Believing baby, we believing' - Best song - Probably 'Money Ain't a Thang' by Jay-Z & Jermaine Dupri because it's so good to cruise around to jus' runnin' errands and ting. I don't give a shit what car you got bro, get this on and ride around shining.

If you want an ordinary world, get an office job, Duran Duran.

4. 'Shadowlands/Daggers' - Best song - Probably 'Ordinary World' by Duran Duran because when I play it I flounce around the room as if I'm as light as a feather and possibly studying a drama GCSE or some wack shit. Song does things to me.

When we gonna get excited?

5. 'Jetpack Ambition' - Best song - Probably 'To Hell With Good Intentions' by McLusky. Why? Have you heard it?! It's like someone smashing your window in, poking their head through the hole and spitting in your face. This is my most recent effort btw.

Hope you enjoy these and may you not be struck with SSS for at least a couple of hours or so.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Glastonbury Without The Mud.

Jo Whiley making us all sad just out of shot.

That's me every year. Just sitting in various positions on my armchair watching Glastonbury on TV. I've never been. I should go and I'm sure I will one day but it's the whole buying tickets a year before it happens and being disorganised and there's a million other reasons but yeah, I normally watch a fair bit of it inbetween periods of muting my TV when Jo Whiley and/or Fearne Cotton come on.

Here's a few of my observations from watching Glastonbury this year:

- The crowds are getting bigger and younger every single year. Paul Simon was on earlier and the crowd went back so far the people at the back were stood in Wales. It was ridiculous. Paul Simon is about 3ft tall too, there could've been a midget playing a Paul Simon CD on a stereo on stage and the back of the crowd would know no different. Also, the front say eight rows of most of the acts this year have had a mean age of 14.8 years. These youngsters are talking nostalgically about The Libertines for God's sake.

- Bono just needs a goatee to complete his transformation into David Brent. Seriously, you can't do double leather at any age, let alone when you're about 50 and wearing a pair of sunglasses AT NIGHT AND IN THE RAIN that look like they were given away free with 'Heat' magazine.

- The lead singer from Biffy Clyro use to sign on at my local job centre. Either that or he looks exactly like 85% of people that attend that particular cathedral of charity.

- Dimunitive Janelle Monae was an absolute MONSTER last night. She deserves to go stratospheric and there's been a real wave of interest (#1 on iTunes, trending topic) off the back of that performance. Good on her 'cos she's fantastic and deserves it all.

- It's far easier to listen to Wu Tang than it is to watch them. One reason mainly - I will never be able to look at Method Man without thinking about Cheese from 'The Wire'. It's ruining the otherwise fantastic spectacle of some men that really haven't aged well loving their lives and playing some absolutely savage next-level-shit-genre-changing songs.

- I was hoping so hard that Jay would come out when Coldplay played 'Lost!' that my head started hurting. Massively underrated verse of his but yeah, he didn't come out and I was left with nothing but Chris Martin laying on the stage reeling out those poetic lines 'You might be a big fish in a little pond/doesn't mean you've won/cos they'll only come/a bigger one." Like Keats or Bob Dylan but a million times better. ish.

- Beyonce is going to own this tonight. In fact, I'd rather watch her play 'Halo', 'Crazy In Love' or 'If I Were a Boy' once than I would watch U2 play a set of my choosing, in my own front room, whilst a hareem of beautiful women write out the winning lottery numbers for the next 12 weeks.

I'll be live tweeting the Beyonce set so follow me if you don't already you little miseries.

Monday, 6 June 2011

The 5 Best Lines From The New Arctic Monkeys Record

Wish this was the album cover.

The Arctic Monkeys released their fourth album 'Suck It and See' today and I've listened to it quite a few times already. The album, of course, suffers from the usual Arctic Monkeys afflictions. That being that the artwork is totally shit and the title is even worse. Seriously, four albums in and these guys have a 100% brown record when it comes to a) album covers and b) album titles specifically. Are they getting too much freedom from their record label? Am I hideously out of kilter here? SUCK IT AND SEE. It's awful. It sounds like a dreadful attempt at grabbing a reader's attention that you'd expect to see in a feature on healthy lollipops in 'More' magazine or something. Yes or it could be blowjobs. Thanks for that The Sun readers.

Still, I really love this band and I particularly Alex Turner's lyrics. Mainly because he never writes the line you think he's going to. Bloke always keeps you guessing and has a great talent for a comic throw off when you least expect it. See also Morrissey, Stephen Patrick. So, instead of spinning some great yarn of an album review for you that makes little sense (leave that to the guardian, of course) Imma gunna highlight five Turner gems I've picked up on today. Spittin' dat Sheffield fire.

1. "And did you ever get the feeling that these were things she said before/her steady hands may well have done the devil's pedicure." - The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala

I love the romantic paranoia in this line - it's just such a sideways way of wondering whether someone should be trusted or not. Who knows what she's got up to in the past hey Alex? Plus the image of the devil having a pedicure. That's ridiculous right? Like that bastard gives a hoot about personal hygiene! He's too busy kicking about with Piers Morgan and Simon Cowell doing his work.

"And I don't mean to rain on anybody's cabriolet.." - 'Black Treacle'

On my first listen to this song I remember approaching this line thinking "Oh God. 'Parade' really isn't going to fit at the end of the line Alex. Whatcha gonna do bro?" and then before I knew it slap! bang! Turner throws in a 'cabriolet'. I haven't heard that word for ages. In fact, I don't think anyone other than used car dealers has spoken that word for decades. Convertible, soft-top, topless. Yeah, all of those but cabriolet? That's an eighties thing and if there's one thing you do not want when you're in your cabriolet, well, it's being rained on.

3. "You look like you've been to breakfast at the Heartbreak Hotel." - 'Piledriver Waltz'

Nice image this one. I've been thinking all day about what would actually be on the menu at that lovesick residence down at the end of lonely street and I think I've finally arrived at an answer: it would be something traditionally good (like love, i suppose) but served without a vital part (like a willing partner to share it with, I presume). I therefore conclude that on the menu at Heartbreak Hotel would be things like cereal with no milk or just dry ass toast. Man, heartbreak tastes just horrible.

"I've been trying to figure out exactly what it is I need/call up to listen to the voice of reason/and got his answering machine." - 'Reckless Serenade'

Could Turner be accused of trying to be too clever here? Perhaps. Still, that half rhyme of 'need' and 'machine' works fantastically well in the song. I can't help but wish that this lyric were true though because on most occasions the voice of reason in your life is usually someone self appointed and my God, they are never on answer machine. Even when you want them to be.

5. "Give me an eenie meenie minee mo/or an ip dip dog shit rock 'n roll." - 'Library Pictures'

I've included this line solely because it made me LOL when I heard it for the first time. I think it was the mix of a childhood rhyme I hadn't heard for fifteen years coupled with thoughts of dog shit rock 'n roll. Or 'Download Festival' as it is more commonly known.

Anyway, good job Arctic Monkeys. Good job Alex Turner. A big band that sells a lot of records, yes, but a band that makes music they want to make on their, aesthetically displeasing cover wise, terms.

Arctic Monkeys - The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala

'Makes me wanna blow the candles out just to see if you glow in the dark.'

Monday, 23 May 2011

46 Million People Doing Nothing.

Take a grenade for me Bruno. No really, please do.

I don't normally do posts like this. I've always tried to be constructive when I post and when I don't like something I might poke fun but I try not to hate too much on people because we're all - aside from Matt Bellamy - human. This right here is an exception though. Yep, I'm finally making one of those "oh look at the charts. Aren't they just awful?" posts. I really hate to because I love good pop music and you all know that. This song right here, however, is far from good. This song is so spectacularly bad that when I heard it for the first time I forgot who I was and all I stood for momentarily. I started talking in tongues and spinning on my head like Mark Owen use to do when Take That first came out. I don't know what came over me but I did know I didn't like it and that I wanted it to stop. Luckily, even Bruno Mars stops.

Funny chilled bloke.

A good opening couplet can grab the attention and hold it for the rest of a lifetime and the history of music is littered with songs with stunning opening lines. One soft infested summer me and Terry became friends/Trying in vain to breathe the fire we was born in Bruce once sang to open up 'Backstreets'. That line I've listed there I think about without hesitation when anyone mentions opening lyrics. It sets the tone for that song, that incredible album and the relationships born out of sheer desperation and a rabid desire for freedom that play out over it's eight tracks. You'd be hard pushed to say the same about Today I don't feel like doing anything/I just wanna lay in my bed. In fact, when I heard this SHIT for the first time earlier I honestly thought it was an advert jingle for a bed company. Is there a bed version of DFS that has a sale on 365 days of the year with 0% interest for 17 years. Actually, does DFS sell beds? Who knows? Who cares? You know what I'm getting at. Bruno Mars has written a song that belongs on an advert that stars Linda Barker. That's more damning than any number of words I can right here.

Turn the TV on, throw my hand in my pants/Nobody's gon' tell me I can't. Ohh. You tell 'em Bruno. You're your own man now and you don't care what they all say. You go Rage Against The Machine up in here wit yo hand down your pants man. Play with that cock of yours and wear your snuggie and damn what anyone else thinks.

Today I don't feel like doing anything
I just wanna lay in my bed
Don't feel like picking up my phone, so leave a message at the tone
'Cause today I swear I'm not doing anything

I'm gonna kick my feet up then stare at the fan
Turn the TV on, throw my hand in my pants
Nobody's gon' tell me I can't

I'll be lounging on the couch just chilling in my Snuggie
Click to MTV so they can teach me how to dougie
'Cause in my castle I'm the freaking man
Oh yes, I said it, I said it
I said it 'cause I can
Today I don't feel like doing anything
I just wanna lay in my bed
Don't feel like picking up my phone, so leave a message at the tone
'Cause today I swear I'm not doing anything

Nothing at all, nothing at all

Tomorrow I'll wake up, do some P90X
Find a really nice girl, have some really nice sex
And she's gonna scream out
This is great
(Oh my god, this is great)
Yeah, I might mess around
And get my college degree
I bet my old man will be so proud of me
But sorry pops, you'll just have to wait
Oh yes, I said it, I said it
I said it 'cause I can

Today I don't feel like doing anything
I just wanna lay in my bed
Don't feel like picking up my phone, so leave a message at the tone
'Cause today I swear I'm not doing anything
No, I ain't gonna comb my hair
'Cause I ain't going anywhere
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no
I'll just strut in my birthday suit
And let everything hang loose

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Oh, today I don't feel like doing anything
I just wanna lay in my bed
Don't feel like picking up my phone, so leave a message at the tone
'Cause today I swear I'm not doing anything

Nothing at all
Nothing at all
Nothing at all

So, what purpose does this song serve? Is it one for kids to play from their tinny phone speakers in the park this summer? Probably not. It's certainly not a party banger nor is it an emotional one that 16 year old girls can quote on their facebook status when their first boyfriend dumps them in favour of their "less frigid" mate. There's only one mental image I get when listening to this song in terms of context and I'll tell you what it is right here. I can imagine some daytime radio twat like Vernon Kay or Fearne Cot Death saying something like "This one goes out to all of you just chillaxin' around the crib for the day. Put your trackies on, get the telly on and make a cuppa - it's Bruno Mars." Awful.

The whole concept behind the tone of this thing too. Think about how Mars's singles so far have been either love songs or emotional break up songs. You can just see some idiot marketing guy going "We need something less serious. We need to show Bruno's fun side too cos boy can he do fun!" This is Bruno Mars having fun. He loves people the way they are, he's not superficial. He'd take a grenade for others, he's obsessed dedicated and look at him now! He's only bloody chilled out and LOL too. What a guy!

Seriously, to hell with Bruno Mars and to hell with this song. Sometimes there's good stuff in the charts, sometimes there's shit in the charts but the shit I can usually understand. It's a bit like prawns really. I think they taste and look utterly vile but I can see the attraction for others. Some people just dig a fishy treat that looks like an alien that will one day rule our world. I get why little girls might like The Wanted. I get why people buy N-Dubz albums but this sort of thing, I'm sorry, I'm waving the white flag here. It beats me. I'm done. Dead and gone.

Oh yeah, this has 46 million views on youtube, in case you were wondering.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

The Great Escape Festival Review - Brighton - 13/14 May 2011

Wasn't a Steve McQueen in sight.

It's been five days since I returned from The Great Escape (TGE) festival and I'm starting to think that if I don't write up some sort of review soon then I may as well not bother. It's starting to get a bit
like writing about what christmas presents you want in the middle of July. You're so late people are starting to think that you might be early for next year.

So, this was my first Great Escape and I'll be upfront here, I thought it was really good. My first impression was one of relief when I got there and realised that the thing was actually pretty decently organised. There were quite a few 'representatives' dotted about and it didn't take us long befoe we located where we should get our wristbands from. From here we tried to watch our first act - we had to miss the whole Friday due to work - of the festival - Fionn Regan.

Regan was playing at a bar called Horatio's on Brighton Pier and by the time we got there (despite being early) the queue was already pretty long. Now, we've witnessed the miracle of my short attention span many times on this blog and I won't lie here and say that I wasn't being drawn into the bar next door that was all of the following:

a) in total darkness aside from a mirrorball
b) full of people that were absolutely ruined. At 2pm.
c) playing 'Dancing Queen' and everyone one was singing along.

Not entirely my scene BUT I just loved the contrast of this joint with all the scenesters queueing up for Fionn Regan. All too cool for school in too tight clothes whilst some fat girl in the bar next door is losing her shit to the 'Macarena'. I'm all about things like that. That's life right there people. Anyway, we couldn't get in to Fionn Regan because it was too busy so we pissed about for a while until this guy Mrs, Meet Dinosaur really digs - Benjamin Francis Leftwich - was on.

Benjamin Francis Leftwich. 'Jamin to his mates.

I know what you're thinking, 'what a ridiculous name. who is this guy?' and for what it's worth, I agree. To give him credit, trusted online resource Wikipedia suggests that his name really is Benjamin Francis Leftwich so at least he's not called Dave Jones or something. Still, just go with with Ben Leftwich in future ay mate? I was quite impressed with this guy anyway. The whole set was acoustic singer songwriter stuff but he's got a really nice voice that even stood up acapella with no mic, nice little songs too. Worth checking out if you're into that sorta thing. He does look a bit like a posh British version of Spencer from 'The Hills' sometimes though, through no fault of his own.

After this guy we didn't see any bands for a bit. Not for a lack of wanting I'd like to add. It's more because Brighton is a cool place with lots to see and do so we just mooched about and soaked up the culture. By that I mean we bought some chips and sat by the sea for ages watching some skateboarders and it was really enjoyable. If any skateboarders are reading btw, are any of you any good? I don't mean to knock something that is probably well hard but whenever I watch someone on a skateboard they always seem to be shit. Look, I could do a 540 and a perfect kick flip within FIVE MINUTES of playing Tony Hawk's on the PS1 so step yo game up Brighton skateboarders.

After our little break it was time for, well, the main reasons we bothered going to this thing: The Antlers and Okkervil River. Yes, I should've explored more, I know, I know. Put simply though, if they weren't playing, I wouldn't have bothered. That's how easy I'm put off live music these days. Give me five years and the only festival I'll be going to will be the annual Man, Meet Dinosaur fest which, by then, will be a pretty big deal I should think.

This is The Antlers. You'll have to Trust me on this one although from this picture granted, it could be like, The Wanted.

The Antlers are currently on a pretty big world tour in support of their new record 'Burst Apart' and their TGE set consisted wholly of songs from this album. I'm still yet to hear this album such is my excitement of not giving in to listening to it until I have a physical copy in my greasy mitts. Consequently, my connection with some of the songs played was nowhere near as big as it would've been if they'd played some songs from the incredible 'Hospice'. The band have gained a (touring at least) member with a second guitarist being drafted in since the last time I saw them and going on first impressions only, they're a lot louder now than on previous tours. I'm really excited to hear this new record and going on this set, it sounds like it has some proper songs on it. Must say though, I heard this tune 'I Don't Want Love' for the first time at this show and it hit me like a sledgehammer. From a completely cold and previously unknown standpoint, that's a pretty special thing. Expecting big things when I hear the recorded version of this song.

Such a good photo! No, I didn't take it. credit to Mrs, Meet Dinosaur.

Now, now, now. On to the main event. Okkervil River were on next. I don't need to say here that I'm a big fan. I blog and tweet about this bunch pretty much constantly and you're probably sick of reading about them. Maybe you've even stopped reading because you're that sick of hearing from me about them. As I wrote in my preview, I felt really lucky to see both of these bands on a week so close to them both releasing new albums. There's something really magical and exciting about that because everything feels new. To you and to the band. For this reason, I was a bit dissapointed with the lack of new songs from OR. Dissapointed but in the same way they didn't play any songs released before 'Black Sheep Boy' I completely understand the decision. At a festival like this, your main aim has to be to win over new fans. You also have to assume that the majority of the crowd don't know you and consequently are pretty indifferent to what you've got to play for them. To this end it was no shock to hear the band play a set entirely consisting of their most upbeat, catchy and memorable songs. All of 'em chockful of big hooks. 'For Real', 'Unless It's Kicks', 'Lost Coastlines'. All great songs that'd make any best of OR cd you'd make for the uninitated. Trust me, I lknow, I've made enough of them bitches.

The band were in fine form, I must say. Their enthuasism and love for what they do is always evident and compared to many other miserable bastards, it's refreshing to see. Frontman Will Sheff continues to grow into his voice and his confidence seems to increase from show-to-show, record-to-record. Dude has no worries with stripping everything out until his only his voice remains and, in a live setting especially, this is something that works really well.

Will Sheff of Okkervil River. Modern day hero.

New album 'I Am Very Far' has been received pretty well from what I've read (that being every review written) and I truly hope this fantastic band receives some crossover success of the back of this one. Quite simply because they deserve it and I'm sick of them being ignored. There's one song on IAVF that has the potential to forcibly shove this band into the spotlight and I was genuinely shocked they didn't play it at TGE. It's called 'White Shadow Waltz' and if it's not released as the next single or the one after that I'll eat my hat and my cat. It's an epic building Arcade Fire of a song. Check it out and if you haven't already, check this band out too. And Great Escape Festival, check that shit too, it's good. See you next year.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

The Great Escape Festival Preview - Brighton - 13/14 May 2011

Rocking this thing like Graham Greene.

Bit late to this one considering it started yesterday and I'm sat on my bed blogging about it now but I am about to leave any minute to head to Brighton and watch some bands. By watch some bands I mean stand still with my arms crossed whilst occasionally nodding my head to show some appreciation, of course. "Who's playing you idiot?" Well, loads of people actually. Full lineup is here and if you know every single one of those bands playing I'd wager you either work for The Great Escape Festival or you're solidly unemployed.

Alela Diane plays TGE festival. Apparently unaware that I got a tick from holding a feather like that once.

"But MMD, you're a miserable old curmudgeon at the tender age of 25, what are you doing to a youthful virile event like that?" Well, two reasons mainly. 1. Okkervil River 2. The Antlers. I loathe to sound so reductive here because there are 300+ bands playing this thing and yes, of course there's other people I intend on seeing but the timing of this really could not be better. How many times do you get to see your favourite band just days after they've released a new album? How many times do you get to see a band that made an album as unforgettable as any over the past decade on stage before your favourite band? HARDLY DAMN EVER.

DJ Shadow plays TGE festival. Apparently unaware that he looks a bit Fred Dursty.

I'll report back with my findings on this weekend but I'm expecting great things. Those geeks over on twitter have been 'live tweeting' the event and by all reports, it's been going very well so far. I'll probably write some misguided tweets whilst I'm there too so make sure you follow.

If anyone needs me I'll be at the Okkervil River merch stand spending money I can't afford. Drive safe everyone.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Buy This.

Hungry like the wolf.

It doesn't happen very often but when it does, oh my, what an event. There's a new Okkervil River album out everyone. Buy it from amazon for only SEVEN POUNDS AND NINETY NINE PENCE. Go on, buy this and everything else this band has done and believe in music again. Full review coming this week, I just gotta take all this in. Like a sponge. Like a leech. But cooler.