Wednesday, 19 October 2011

The Stone Roses

so, y'all heard the news right?

after 15 years, and many repeated denials that it could or would ever happen, the Stone Roses have finally reformed.

and to be honest, i couldn't really care less.

now i realise that this is a music blog and perhaps i should be praising the higher powers that be that such a revered indie band are returning, but this is my music blog, which means you shall be afflicted with my opinion.

I'm certainly aware of Stone Roses standing within the history of modern music, and that is simply what they are to me, just a part of a rich history, and they were before my time.

When i was at an age when music became a revelation to me England was in the thralls of the heady wave of Brit-Pop that was dominating the charts and the pages of Smash Hits.

and even though the shadow of the Stone Roses and Madchester looms large across the likes of Oasis and their contemporaries, the fact remains that the release of Second Coming in 1994 (along with Oasis' own Definitely Maybe) was not at all on my radar, and wasn't until my musical awakening with (What's The Story) Morning Glory? that bands and albums even began to matter to me, by which time the Stone Roses had been firmly usurped and their split in 1996 went completely unnoticed by me.

This is not to take anything away from the band, their fans and their legacy, but aside from singing along from a handful of singles that still get spun on Xfm from time to time, i just can't claim to hold them very dear to my own heart.

 Download: Stone Roses - Fools Gold (SmoochGroove Stoned Fool Re-Edit) by Victor Berghmeister

Monday, 10 October 2011

Steve Jobs

although he will be sorely missed by technophiles, Steve Jobs rich legacy made a massive impact on the lives of music fans too.

when he departed this plain of existence on October 5 2011, he left behind a history-changing array of accomplishments.

and while your day may be spent editing your photos on fatbooth and playing angry birds on your smartphone, it is worth remembering just how apple has pushed technology to evolve in recent years.

i certainly remember my stack of 90 minute tapes that i'd made, and how i'd have to choose which ones to carry with me to listen to on my walkman, it seems bewildering that i now nonchalently carry 720 hours worths of music on my iPod, that is nearly enough music to play continuously for a whole month straight.

i remember the aftermath of Napster, and how music changed from being about CDs and were suddenly considered as files that could be shared and downloaded, and how the iTunes store blazed a trail as peoples attitudes towards downloading (and paying for) mp3s changed.

Apple's own Garageband programme should not be forgotten either, for it created a unique recording environment that has encouraged creativity with its intuitive interface, providing a plethora of loops, instruments and effects.

i have witnessed lo-fi electronic artist George Pringle performing live, with her own self-produced Garageband backing tracks being relayed from her iPod plugged straight into a PA system.

  Stream: George Pringle - Physical Education (Part 1)

the freedom and simplicity of trying out new ideas isn't just reserved for bedroom producers either.

Damon Albarn used his iPad and a number of available music apps in order to record Gorillaz latest album over 32 days whilst on tour in North America.

Although it may not be as star-studded an affair as Plastic Beach was, The Fall is quite an astonishing collection of 12 low-key tracks that lean towards experimentation whilst still retaining a a high standard considering it could quite have easily been a handful of haphazard demos.

It only stands to prove that, being more than just an evolution of the laptop for you to check your facebook on, the iPad, with it's unique touchscreen functions, can prove to be a powerful music production tool.

through his part in the creation of the iPod, the iTunes music store, the iPhone and the iPad, Steve Jobs was not only creating new products, but sometimes creating entirely new markets that were kick-started by his products.

quite simply, the world as we know it right now wouldn't exist if it wasn't for Steve Jobs.

 Download: Gorillaz - Revolving Doors (Henry's Mashup)

Sunday, 2 October 2011

glasswerk review roundup: september

sadly, it has been a rather slow month for my own glasswerk activities.

and i think most of it can be attributed to the recent departure of an editor that during has tenure had managed to keep on top of mailing out promos and weeding out the type of music that was distinctly appealling to my eclectic tastes.

since his leaving, there have been no more care packages of dizzyingly bizarre CDs dropping through my letterbox, there have been no more opportunities for live reviews, and even my recounting of Crystal Fighters outstanding performance at Shepherds Bush Empire, which i arranged myself, never did make it onto the glasswerk website, so i took the liberty of posting it up earlier in september for my own readers.

meaning there are just two reviews to point you in the direction of.

first up was Gazelle Twin's surreal set-piece at an old metal works building in Islington.  The album launched at the show is a magnificent long-player displaying otherwordly qualities, how would this rich and vastly textured music translate live?

find out what i thought in my review.

Gazelle Twin live review here.

and the second review is a different take on my review of The Others live return, that has already been discussed on the pages of Seeking Susan Boyle.  You may notice a couple of similarities between the articles, but i do strive to give a different and slightly more impartial stance for my glasswerk piece.

The Others live review here.

and that is it i'm afraid, and unless things take a sudden and drastic change for the better, i wouldn't hold out too much hope for a review roundup at all covering october.