The iTunes Festival is back for 2010. After last year the feedback was so great the festival returned, this time at Camden’s Roundhouse in London. They invited more than 60 artists to perform 31 consecutive nights of brilliant live music in the UK’s best intimate venue. Every show was recorded and made available on iTunes.

The line-up included the years’ most exciting pop, metal, dance, jazz and opera stars including Scissor Sisters, Faithless, Ozzy Osbourne, Biffy Clyro, Paloma Faith and Rolando Villazon.

Below are some of the artists’ live ep’s that I prefer.

the drums

tracklist:
01. best friend
02. submarine
03. me and the moon
04. book of stories
05. let’s go surfing
06. don’t be a jerk, johnny
07. i need fun in my life
08. forever and ever amen

the drums – itunes festival 2010

foals

tracklist:
01. total life forever
02. miami
03. balloons
04. alabaster
05. electric bloom
06. two steps twice

foals – itunes festival 2010

wild beasts

tracklist:
01. all the king’s men
02. we still got the taste dancin’ on our tongues
03. two dancers
04. please, sir
05. the devil’s crayon
06. hooting & howling

wild beasts – itunes festival 2010

the xx

tracklist:
01. intro
02. crystalised
03. islands
04. shelter
05. do you mind?
06. night time

the xx – itunes festival 2010

…rowan

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It just so happens that Glass Vaults are friends of friends of mine (if that makes sense). The band consists of Richard Larsen and Rowan Pierce who were both born in the rural Manawatu and are now based in Wellington, New Zealand. They just released their debut ep, Glass, on local Wellington record label Sonorous Circle.

Glass Vaults are an ambient two piece band who use washed textures, rhythmic drums and pop sensibilities. This ep is an excellent debut from this group (or any group for that matter), it has a dreamy feel which has been carefully crafted. I highly recommend this ep to all and feel it has a certain sound that could be accepted from rock music nuts to country music buffs.

Possible influences are from bands such as Animal Collective / Panda Bear, Sigur Rós and possibly some Thom Yorke (personal opinions).

tracklist:
01. they will grow
02. set sail
03. new space
04. worrier
05. forget me not

The ep is available for free download off their bandcamp site below:

glass vaults – glass ep

or check out their myspace page for a listen, here

…rowan

The Chemical Brothers are back with their new album Further. These guys are “bad to the bone”, they always produce hits that keep up with present music as well as keeping to their own style. Each album that they have released has songs that are known worldwide from ‘Hey Boy, Hey Girl’ to ‘Block Rockin’ Beats’ to ‘Let Forever Be’ to ‘Salmon Dance’. In my opinion they are up there with the best electronic / dance dj’s ever. Further does not disappoint, while listening to it just imagine the songs being blasted at a live venue, shit would go off.

I’m still very, very dark that I missed these guys when they hit New Zealand in 2008 just after their release of We Are The Night (another good album). I’m not going to make the same mistake twice, the next chance I have of seeing The Chemical Brothers live I will be there with bells on.

Check out Further below:

the chemical brothers – further

I have also found out that the itunes only release has 2 extra tracks which are apparently the best off the album

…rowan

Shit! A new Soulwax remix and it’s of an Lcd Soundsystem song. What more could you ask for. I have been waiting in anticipation for anything from Soulwax in a loooonnnng time and then a Lcd remix comes out of nowhere. If you didn’t know Soulwax are the world’s best remix dj’s (in my opinion), any song they remix a lot of the time is either better than the original or on par with it. Anyway have a listen and a download below.

lcd soundsystem – you wanted a hit (soulwax remix)

…rowan

So it looks like my blog is getting a few views these days so I have decided to drop my stupid ‘no uppercase’ gimmick (except for headings), thanks for bearing with me.

1. lcd soundsystem – this is happening

Lcd Soundsystem are amazing and I’ve said it before that James Murphy can do no wrong. Listening to This Is Happening has changed my first impressions somewhat, the album is getting better with each and every listen. I recently realized the album has a lot more depth and feel if listened to through a pair of good noise canceling headphones, you just seem to pick up so much more little additions to each song. Tracks to check out: ‘Home’, ‘Dance Yrself Clean’ and ‘You Wanted a Hit’.

2. foals – total life forever

I was never the biggest fan of Foals album Antidotes, and so I didn’t think Total Life Forever would be any better. To my surprise I was wrong. This sophomore album is a lot less funky and I feel that they have definitely found their “sound”. Songs like ‘This Orient’ and ‘Miami’ and stand out tracks and are songs to check out if you want a preview of how good Total Life Forever is. A good 2010 album!

3. delphic – acolyte

I only discovered this band a couple of days ago and so far have liked what I’ve heard. the band reminds me of a mix between Miike Snow and Klaxons, very electro poppy. I feel I will have to give the album a few more listens before I discover any real stand out / lovable tracks. The band formed in 2009 and released their first single ‘This Momentary’ in 2009 which went on to be nominated for 3 UK Music Video Awards and the band was also nominated for the “BBC’s Sound of 2010 list” in which they came third.

4. motocade – into the fall

To be honest Im not the biggest listener to New Zealand music, which is quite disappointing because there is a lot of talent coming out of this little country. A friend recommended this ep, Into The Fall, by Motocade to me a couple of weeks ago. Motocade is a four piece indie rock band from Auckland, New Zealand. As I said before I don’t usually give New Zealand music a chance but this ep is going down a treat. I hear influences from bands such as early Bloc Party, The Checks and early Kings of Leon. I have yet to hear the full length album which got released earlier this year and will hopefully have a copy of this in the near future.

honorable mention
1. micachu – jewellery

This album has blown me away! I cannot get enough of it. Micachu has been playing constantly through my iTunes over the last few months. Micachu is the stage name of London based songwriter / producer and composer, Mica Levi. She studies composition at the Guildhall School Of Music & Drama in London . As well as writing more traditional pieces, she writes electronic pop songs, sometimes delivered acoustically. Definitely a band to check out, I highly recommend their full length album Jewellery.

2. the checks – alice by the moon

This album was featured on my “current albums on rotation – 01/10/09” list and has not left. I have been listening to this album solidly for the last 8 months and have not yet got sick of a track. In my opinion it’s by far the best rock album to come out of New Zealand in the last 5 years. The album is a very well presented from their track list order to the album cover. A lot of hard work has gone into the production of this album and it shows. If any readers of this blog have not yet heard Alice By The Moon, I strongly recommend it. The album can be purchased from www.thechecks.net or for a preview visit their Myspace page here

…rowan

now i realise that both of these albums have been out for a little while, must be getting slow in my old age.

the drums are a fun post-punk surf band. this album sounds as good as their ep’s with that happy sound and the tracks haven’t been changed since. a band that is good to have in the background while working. the drums entered 2010 as one of the most tipped acts in the media. features the singles ‘forever and ever, amen’ and ‘best friend. i can see a few of these songs getting used on some up and coming films.

below is the link for the highly anticipated 2010 full length debut self-tilted album the drums

tracklist:
01. best friend
02. me and the moon
03. lets go surfing
04. book of stories
05. skippin’ town
06. forever and ever amen
07. down by the water
08. it will all end in tears
09. we tried
10. i need fun in my life
11. i’ll never drop my sword
12. the future

the drums – the drums

tokyo police have always been one of those bands that just sits at the back of my head, they were never really a top played band, that was until their new album champ was released recently. i can’t get enough of it, it’s great music to chill to, work to or have cranking at parties. i have always gone back to their ep a lesson in crime, and have never been disappointed or tired of it unlike their lp elephant shell, which just didn’t seem to have the same feel or energy. champ starts off with ‘favourite food’ which has a great build up into the album and sets the pace and tone for the following songs. ‘breakneck speed’ was the first released single, it reminds me a lot of a lesson in crime and i feel as though it could easily fit into that ep.

anyway if you haven’t heard of tokyo police club (and if you like the sound of the strokes, kinda) i highly recommend firstly a lesson in crime and now champ, two great albums.

tracklist:
01. favourite food
02. favourite colour
03. breakneck speed
04. boots of danger (wait up)
05. bambi
06. end of a spark
07. hands reversed
08. gone
09. big difference
10. not sick
11. frankenstein
12. boots of danger (passion pit remix)

tokyo police club – champ

…rowan

klaxons have finally returned with a new single called ‘flashover’. the wait has been long for anything from these guys, this is mainly because early last year (2009) it was reported that the band had been told to re-record parts of their second album, after it was rejected by their record label. their record label polydor deemed the record “too experimental” for release (i would be keen as to give these tracks a listen), so since november 2009 the band has once again been recording their second album.

the song reminds me a lot of a faster more grungier ‘four horsemen of 2012’ a song off their first album, myths of the near future. no official word yet, but we can expect this to be included on their second album, which has been in the works for many years now. the new album is set for a release later in the year and has a provisional title of surfing the void.

…rowan

new the drums video

May 24, 2010

i have only recently discovered the drums and it was only because they are the opening band for the up and coming florence + the machine concert in auckland, new zealand. form what i’ve heard i have liked (only listened to their summertime! ep), they are a poppy sounding “surf” band. i’m really looking forward to seeing them in about a month, it’s a good little bonus to what will be an amazing show. i feel they are creating a sound that surfer blood set out to do.

below is the new video by the band called ‘forever and ever amen’. the video reminds me of an old 70’s style movie, not too much happens in the video but it’s fun and goes well with the beat of the song nicely. this song is off their soon to be released album it will all end in tears.

…rowan

wolf parade leaked

May 18, 2010

wolf parade are back. late last year, the members of the montreal band took a break from their various other bands (sunset rubdown, handsome furs, swan lake, moonface) to work on a new studio album. in late February and early March of 2010 the new album was recorded and mixed at hotel2tango. expo 86 is the name of the new and third album by wolf parade. expo 86 follows the band’s 2008 album at mount zoomer, which itself followed their 2005 debut, apologies to the queen mary. the album is due for a late June or early July release on Sub Pop.

i have only managed to listen to the album a few times but from what i’ve heard i have liked more so than at mount zoomer.

tracklist:
01. cloud shadow on the mountain
02. palm road
03. what did my lover say? (it always had to go this way)
04. little golden age
05. in the direction of the moon
06. ghost pressure
07. pobody’s nerfect
08. two men in new tuxedos
09. oh you, old thing
10. yulia
11. cave-o-sapien

wolf parade – expo 86

…rowan

booka shade, are simple but effective electronic music. below is the new video for ‘bad love’ from their latest album more!. this video is cool, all it is, is random night scenes with a spotlight scanning the areas. not too much happens in it but it fits the beat nicely. oh and how freakin sweet is the way the lights at the end come together to create the booka shade logo. if you haven’t yet checked out booka’s latest album (or any of their albums) do so, now!

heres ‘bad love’:

ratatat have “cracked it”, they have managed to make enjoyable electro music with a synth, electric guitar and minimal lyrics. anyway below is the brand new video for ‘party with children’ from their latest album lp4. the video is, well, different. To be honest, nothing happens in it the whole time it’s just a bird sitting there doing it’s thing. I feel ratatat could have put a little bit more effort into their first new single’s music video. bah whatever, each to their own i spose.

heres ‘party with children’:

…rowan

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