Archive for the 'Music' Category

First Impressions

Going Native by Descent World

The long awaited new DVD from Descent World came through the door this morning. If you’re not into your bicycles and your dirt you’re not really going to be up for this, bus as you may well be aware I’m somewhat fanatical about the things.

I’m happy to say its a pretty good video. Not quite up to the high standards of Earthed or The Collective, but pretty damn good nonetheless. There’s a little too much dirt jumping in there for my liking, but that’s offset by some lovely footage from Fort William, Innerleithen, Dunkeld and various other tracks around Europe. Its always nice ace seeing the professionals blasting down tracks and being able to say “I’ve ridden that!” in a way that you really can’t with most of the videos coming from the States and Canada. The only real problem is that its not long enough.

Luxembourg by The Bluetones

A while back, The Bluetones had the audacity to release a new album without telling me! The bastards! Still, I got a copy of it eventually, and the early signs are that its a stormer. Its edged Evil Nine out of my work PC’s CD drive for now anyway.

Its a different sound to their previous outings, this time they’ve gone a bit rocky and electro. For me that’s a good thing – it seems to work well with their dependably great lyricism. I’m not going to say any more until I’ve had a chance to listen to it a bit more, but thus far I’m enjoying it.

Evil Nine: You Can Be Special Too

A while back I bought Adam Freeland’s album and visited the record label website on a whim. There I discovered Evil Nine, a couple of breakbeat djs who were working on an album. Unfortunately, the record label went bankrupt (apparently through no fault of their own).

Then a while back, Marine Parade records popped back up onto the scene – complete with Evil Nine and their fantastic single Crooked. The album “You Can Be Special Too” seemed to be available but I couldn’t find it and I forgot about it for a while. A couple of weeks ago I spotted it on Amazon, and ordered it.

I can’t be bothered to write a review – there’s plenty of others being complimentary about it (AllMusicGuide, PlayLouder, HKClubbing, InTheMix) and others who aren’t (

Suffice it to say that I’ve been listening to it pretty much ever since. The new Chemical Brothers album that I bought at the same time hasn’t even been played all the way through yet!

The Next Grey Album?

The Beastles Cover Art

You might well remember The Grey Album – where a DJ mashed up Jay-Z’s Black Album with The Beatles White Album.

Well now a certain “dj BC” has done the much the same thing, except that in this case they’ve mixed The Beastie Boys with the Beatles, to create The Beastles — and early indications are that it works quite well.

[Don’t be at all surprised when that link falls off of the face of the net… via Nick Bradbury]

Some links for your perusal

Crooked Nines

I’m loving the current Evil Nine single, Crooked. Now its got an ace new video.


Stupid name, cool gadget, nice looking website with some cool little features (just don”t look at the code beneath it).

Now, I know I said it was a nice site earlier, but its not. I clicked on the music link and got told “The site you have tried to enter requires Internet Explorer 6 (or better)” — the thing is, I am using something better than IE6! Rubbish.

The Marriage of Presentation and Structure

One for the web geeks amongst you: Ethan Marcotte‘s Presentation from Web Design World 2004. Built using Eric Meyer’s S5 – its like Powerpoint for the web.

Ten million users

Mozilla Firefox is downloaded 10 million times in just over a month. That is very very impressive work.

Google to buy lots of scanners

The libraries of five of the world’s most important academic institutions are to be digitised by Google.

It is done

3251 Songs, 10.5 Days, 19.04 GB

All of my CDs are now in iTunes. Rock on, quite literally. Methinks I’ll be needing something slightly bigger than a 20gb iPod


I’m slowly but surely going through my CD collection and sucking it all into iTunes. Its one of those things I’ve wanted to do for ages, but just haven’t been able to until recently — I’ve only just got a PC with enough hard disk space and processing power to cope with the job.

Its having a nice side effect — waking me up to old albums that I’d almost forgotten

So far I’ve only decided against importing one CD, an old Smash Hits compilation that I was given for Christmas in 1998 — largely because its a steaming pile of doo-doo. Put it this way: its got Kavana, Boyzone, Aaron Carter and 911 on there (I look forward to the backlash from their fans).

This process may be a bit boring and laborious, but its having a nice side effect. Its waking me up to old albums and EPs that I’d almost forgotten that I ever had. I stick iTunes on random play and find myself listening to things that hadn’t even left their CD cases for years. Things like Orbital’s In Sides (I had the poster years before I eventually bought the album) and Everything But The Girl’s Walking Wounded, which I was so re-enamoured with that I’ve listened to it all week at work!

Even if you can’t be arsed to plug them all into your PC, I reccommend that you go through all of your old CDs and pick out some classics you’d forgotten about. Put them on, turn them up loud and enjoy them all over again. You know it makes sense!

Scrobble This, Motherhubbard!


It was Stuart who first introduced me to Audioscrobbler. Its goes like this:

  1. You visit the site and sign up.
  2. You download and install a little plugin for your media player of choice.
  3. Now everyone in the world can see what you’re listening to and tell you just how bad your musical tastes are! Acetastic!

What completely threw me was the large similarities between the music that myself and Stuart listen to. Still, I guess we’re both English blokes of a similar age. Its just that he’s already gone and done some horrendously grown-up things like emigrate and get married. Both things I can’t ever see myself doing at the moment. Hey ho.

John Peel: Goodbye Genius

Legendary radio DJ John Peel dies.

I don’t usually get particularly emotional about celebrities dying. When Princess Di was killed I didn’t really bat an eyelid – in fact I was ever so slightly worried for the sanity of the country at such massive public grief. For some reason this is really getting to me though. I was sat at work reading some of the tributes on the web, sometimes smiling, sometimes on the verge of tears.

John Peel

Maybe its because Radio 1 has been such a central part of my life thus far. It wakes me up in the morning and its usually on until late in the evening – just when he’d be on. He’d been there since the word go back in 1967. Of course, I wasn’t born for another eleven years, but he was there, on the Radio, right through my childhood.

The amazing thing is that my mum used to listen to him on Radio 1 back when when she was my age. She’s grown up, had kids and listens to Radio 4 now – and he’d be there telling his Home Truths. He quite literally spanned generations.

My younger sister, Florence, is only just getting into music in a big way, so she won’t have her muscial horizons constantly stretched in all directions by Peel’s fantastic late night radio shows. I only hope that the newer generation of DJs – the Zane Lowes, Steve Lamacqs and Huw Stephens of this world – can carry on where he left off. Great new music, no matter what anyone else thinks.

Zane Lowe played Orbital’s “Belfast” a few minutes ago. They’re one of the artists that I have absolutely loved from the very first time I heard them. Without John Peel’s support they might never have got their career off of the ground, let alone enjoyed the success that they did. So when they decided to call it a day, they played their very last session for his show. The same goes for Pulp, Nirvana, SFA, The Sex Pistols, Radiohead, The Smiths, Supergrass, Joy Division, New Order and countless others. He’s shaped the musical landscape for the last forty years people.

Who else is going to play swedish thrash metal, 1920s swing tunes, dark drum’n’bass and random charty-pop music, in the same show, without anybody batting an eyelid? No other DJ could get away with it, let alone get praised for it.

You’ll be missed John. Rest in peace.